Kona Bikes has been sold to Kent Outdoors, formerly Kent Water Sports, for an undisclosed fee Bicycle Retailer and Industry News reports
A company statement from Kona reads
, "Since our humble beginnings in Vancouver, we've spent the last 34 years building innovative, durable, fun, and eye-catching bikes for all kinds of cyclists. We've grown from a small Pacific Northwest company into a far-reaching global brand. As cyclists we know that every good ride has some memorable moments and our journey at Kona is no exception. Today we are dropping into new terrain and are excited to announce that we are joining the Kent Outdoors group."Kent Outdoors
(not to be confused with Kent International, the New Jersey-based mass market bicycle brand) has a portfolio of 15 brands across watersports, outdoors and snowboarding. Kona is its first mountain bike brand however it does have a mountain bike connection through its CEO Ken Meidell. Meidell became CEO at Kent in early 2021 after previously holding the same position at Outerbike. He has also led brands such as Dakine, Outdoor Research, and Cascade Designs.
Meidell said, "I've been riding mountain bikes since the days of coaster brakes. I started with fully rigid forays into the forests where I grew up and the stoke never really left. It's safe to say it's in my blood. Working with Kona fulfills a dream of mine, and I can't wait to help bring more iconic bikes to cyclists all over the world."
Meidell will now become the CEO of Kona but Kona's founders, Dan Gerhard, Jake Heilbron, and Jimbo Holmstrom, will remain at the company "in their familiar roles". Kona will also be keeping all of its current staff and offices.
Heilbron said, "Our partnership with Kent Outdoors signals our renewed commitment to competing in a rapidly evolving industry,” Heilbron added. “We are more dedicated than ever to building great bikes, partnering with our independent bike dealers, and maintaining the Kona Way. In fact, Kent’s investment will enable Kona to invest more meaningfully behind these goals to better serve our independent retailers, team members, and consumers worldwide. By partnering with Kent, we’ll give more people the freedom and empowerment of getting outdoors on Kona bikes"