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.
Waning bike product demand leads to Thule Q4 net sales declining 11%By: Bicycle Retailer and Industry News
Thule Group's fourth-quarter net sales declined 10.6% year-over-year with CEO Magnus Welander blaming reduced bike product demand from retailers who lowered inventory after large preseason orders.
Net sales for the quarter were SEK 1,651 million ($157.9 million), compared with SEK 1,846 million at the same time last year. For 2022, net sales decreased 2.4%, from SEK 10,138, compared with SEK 10,386 million in 2021. Bike products made up 41% of all sales during the year.
In the Region Americas, year-over-year sales dropped 33.7% after currency adjustment in the quarter.
Parlee Cycles files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protectionBy: Bicycle Retailer and Industry News
Custom carbon frame maker Parlee Cycles Inc. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Monday and will continue operations during the process. A balance sheet in its filing showed Parlee's liabilities totaled $4.4 million and total assets totaled $2.6 million at the end of January.
"This is a reorganization and a restructure of the company," Parlee Chief Operating Officer Jamie Bradley told BRAIN on Thursday afternoon. "We're in a position where this allows us to continue to operate as part of a normal course of business. And so it's freezing some of the challenges that we have on the debt side, and it allows us to continue operating. So we are building bikes. I'm looking out on the production floor right now. We're still building bikes. We're still shipping bikes."
Decline in bike helmet demand leads to MIPS' net sales decreasing 46% in Q4By: Bicycle Retailer and Industry News
A 50% drop in bike helmet sales in the fourth quarter led to MIPS' net sales decreasing 46% year-over-year. For the year, the helmet technology company experienced a 7% drop in net sales.
Net sales for the fourth quarter were SEK 107 million ($10.3 million) compared with SEK 198 million at the same time last year. For 2022, net sales were SEK 563 million, down from SEK 608 million in 2021.
"The fourth quarter closes a different, challenging but also successful year," said CEO Max Strandwitz. "A drastic slowdown in the bike sector in the second half of the year had a substantial negative impact on sales in Sport, our largest category. While we had to deal with the short-term challenging market for our largest category, we have taken big steps for the future through several initiatives and successes within other categories. We have also continued to strengthen our brand position, product portfolio and organization.
SRAM to open new facility in TaiwanBy: Bicycle Retailer and Industry News
SRAM will open a new 100,000-square-meter facility next year, continuing more than three decades of manufacturing here.
The facility will be designed to optimize productivity, maximizing efficiency, and ensuring quality, according to SRAM. It's 30% larger than all of the existing four facilities SRAM has currently.
Outride research shows cycling’s benefits are more than physicalBy: Dean Yobbi // Bicycle Retailer and Industry News
In addition to giving more kids access to bikes and places to ride, the nonprofit Outride organization also studies cycling’s cognitive and physical benefits.
“At the end of the day, what would be a dream for us would be for the information and evidence to get out there for people and parents to go, ‘This is very real,’” said Mike Sinyard, Specialized Bicycles founder and co-founder of Outride.
A decade after Sinyard helped start the program that would research how cycling could benefit kids with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, that day might be here, and it might lead to more kids turning pedals instead of only taking pills.
Eurobike expands expo hall to accommodate more exhibitorsBy: Bicycle Retailer and Industry News
The Eurobike expo area has been expanded to accommodate an increased number of exhibitors for the second edition of the global trade show here on June 21-25.
Four months before the 31st Eurobike begins, the show is booked with exhibition space needing to be increased by 1,614 square feet. More than 400 new exhibitors will be there, and the total number will exceed the 1,500 who attended last year, the first here after moving from Friedrichshafen, Germany.
The exhibitor increase required more space at the hall constellation in the western complex of the Frankfurt exhibition grounds.
REI, union agree to hold election after Cleveland employees walk outBy: Bicycle Retailer and Industry News
After REI Co-op’s Beachwood suburb store employees walked off the job minutes before their shifts Friday morning, the store agreed to terms with the union to hold an election.
According to the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU), employees returned to work at 1:30 p.m. The agreement came after employees walked out at 9:45 a.m., demanding the right to vote in a free and fair National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) election and for the company to stop what the RWDSU called "unlawful surveillance" of workers.
The election will include all NLRB-eligible workers at the Ohio store, a reversal from REI’s position last week. It will take place on March 3 from noon-6 p.m. EST at the Beachwood store.
GoPro revenue down 18% in Q4, 6% for yearBy: Bicycle Retailer and Industry News
GoPro reported fourth-quarter revenue decreased 18% year-over-year and for the year it dropped 6%.
For the quarter ending Dec. 31, GoPro's revenue was $321 million, compared with $391 million at the same time last year. For the year, revenue was $1.09 billion, compared with $1.16 billion in 2021.
"GoPro ended the year with solid balance sheet metrics and $367 million in cash after repaying debt of $125 million and repurchasing $40 million in stock," said Brian McGee, GoPro's chief financial officer.
Dealer association launches opt-in database of certified and insured e-bikesBy: Bicycle Retailer and Industry News
The National Bicycle Dealers Association is now maintaining an e-bike database that includes supplier-provided information on certifications and insurance policies for bikes available in the U.S. The database will be accessible by members of the NBDA, which is encouraging all e-bike suppliers and manufacturers to add their contact information and credentials to the list.
"My hope is that this comprehensive list will allow retailers to quickly determine which products they wish to bring into their stores and offer for sale to their community. We saw a need for the industry to have a quick resource to navigate the multiple brands on the market, with the formation we now hope that brands support the effort by contributing their data thus allowing for their partners to have easy access to this important information," NBDA President Heather Mason said in a press release Thursday.
REI cuts 8% of its headquarters' workforceBy: Bicycle Retailer and Industry News
REI Co-op laid off about 8% of its headquarters' workforce at the end of January, impacting 167 leaders and employees as it faces increasing economic uncertainty.
"It is vital that we get the co-op back to profitability as quickly as possible," CEO Eric Artz said in a message to employees on Tuesday. "I know we can get there, but it will require each of us to work very differently. In the year ahead, we will align around a few vital strategic priorities to ensure we are making the best use of the co-op's resources to serve members, customers, and support our long-term impact goals. This also means centering our work around the customer and member experience."
Vista Outdoor Q3 sales down $40 million as sales decline in most categoriesBy: Bicycle Retailer and Industry News
Vista Outdoor Inc. said its sales were down $40 million, to $755 million, in its third quarter, compared to the same period last year. It said the decline was driven by a double-digit drop in organic sales across all of its categories with the exception of golf, partially offset by acquisitions.
The company said its Action Sports business unit, which includes most of its bicycle and snow sport-related brands (except CamelBak), sales were $132 million in the quarter, up 34%. At least some of that increase was likely due to the acquisition of Fox Racing last year. The company said Giro's snow-sport sales were up 30% YTD compared to the prior year but did not break out third-quarter sales numbers for the brand or any others.
Specialized ends women's cycling clothing brand Machines For FreedomBy: Dean Yobbi // Bicycle Retailer and Industry News
Specialized Bicycle Components has shut down women's clothing brand Machines For Freedom, which it purchased from founder Jennifer Kriske five years ago.
The decision to end the brand comes at a time when the industry is becoming more aware of the need to make clothing to fit people of all sizes.
"By leading the progressive revolution of size, inclusivity, representation, and diversity within the cycling space, and focusing on the underrepresented women's category, Machines was a beacon of inspiration," founder Jennifer Kriske said in a statement to BRAIN, after announcing the closure on Instagram. "I am saddened but hopeful that the legacy will live on. I have been cycling through feelings of both grief and gratitude. For the past decade, Machines' influence in the cycling industry has been undeniable. Our industry-leading fit process changed the game for women of all shapes and sizes, and we challenged an industry to consider riders that have been overlooked for generations."
Pierer Mobility bike sales up 15% in 2022By: Bicycle Retailer and Industry News
PIERER Mobility AG reported record revenues in its fiscal 2022, with sales of 2.437 billion euros ($2.65 billion), 19% higher than the year before. By unit, Pierer's sales of bikes and e-bikes were up 15% last year to 118,000 while sales of motorcycles were up 13%, to 376,000.
Pierer sells e-bikes under the Husqvarna, GASGAS and Husqvarna, GASGAS and R Raymon brands, and bikes under the Felt and Liteville brands (Pierer acquired Syntace and Liteville in September and results from those brands appear to be not included in 2022 sales figures)
Pierer said its number of employees increased by 16% last year, to 6,088.
Giant Group buys minority share in Stages Cycling in $20 million dealBy: Steve Frothingham // Bicycle Retailer and Industry News
Giant Group has made a $20 million investment in Stages Cycling, acquiring 32.5% of the company's common stock according to a filing with the Taiwan stock exchange.
Stages, based in Portland, Oregon, makes stationary smart bikes for the commercial gym and home markets, crankarm-based power meters, and GPS bike computers. Giant has manufactured some of Stages smart and commercial indoor bikes for several years, and Giant also distributes some Giant-branded Stages GPS computers to its dealers globally.
VanMoof needed cash bailout to continue operatingBy: Bicycle Retailer and Industry News
E-bike brand VanMoof asked for and will receive a capital investment from its shareholders after it predicted its survival would be in jeopardy in the first quarter of 2023, the Dutch newspaper Financieele Dagblad reported.
A VanMoof spokesperson did not tell the paper how much the investors will pay. The company's annual report filed just after the new year stated it was speaking with investors and suppliers and asking for between 10 million and 40 million euros ($10.9 million-$43.6 million), the paper reported, adding it appears only incumbent investors have shown interest. These include London's Balderton and China's Hillhouse Investment, which since 2021 is owner of the Philips division that makes household appliances, according to Financieele Dagblad, which covers business and financial news.
Strava acquires 3D-mapping company Fatmap USABy: Bicycle Retailer and Industry News
Strava has acquired Fatmap, a company whose 3D-map mobile app is targeted at outdoor enthusiasts including climbers and mountaineers. Strava said it will use the Fatmap technology to add 3D mapping to its cycling/running app. Premium members of Strava will gain access to Fatmap.
"In 2022, nearly 10 million routes were saved and recommended by active individuals around the world on Strava. Maps and tools are powerful unlocks to deliver daily value and motivate our active community," said Michael Horvath, CEO and co-founder of Strava. "We have a shared vision with Fatmap to inspire more people to move by empowering them to discover and experience the joy of the outdoors. For us, the opportunity to reimagine the purpose of maps and how they inspire exploration is an outsized advantage for a differentiated outdoor experience."
The Pro's Closet has another round of layoffsBy: Bicycle Retailer and Industry News
The Pro's Closet has made its second round of layoffs in the past three months on Thursday, the result of continued economic headwinds facing the cycling industry.
The company that began in 2002 as an eBay store for pre-owned bikes and quickly expanded in size and workforce did not say how many employees were affected. In October, The Pro's Closet reduced its workforce by 15%.
"We're facing the same macroeconomic forces and industry inventory issues affecting many others in the cycling industry," CEO John Levisay said in a statement to BRAIN on Friday. "While cuts of this nature are extremely difficult, these measures will ensure our continued long-term success by positioning TPC to weather the current economic conditions."
Confirmed: Someone bought the German motor maker AmprioBy: Jo Beckendorff // Bicycle Retailer and Industry News
Although several news organizations have said that they have "confirmed" that SRAM has acquired the German startup motor company Amprio, neither SRAM nor Amprio's parent company will confirm it. That said, as one headline has it, "All signs point to SRAM" as the buyer. This week an executive at the company that owned Amprio, Rheinmetall AG, allowed that Amprio has been sold. He just declined to say who bought it.
"I can inform you that Rheinmetall sold the e-bike activities of Amprio GmbH at the end of 2022. It has been agreed that the buyer will not be named,” said Tobias Kasperlik, who is the CEO of MS Motorservice International GmbH, which belongs to Rheinmetall AG, a famous publicly traded military arms supplier based in Düsseldorf.
SRAM: LET'S F'IN GOOOOOOOOOOOO BABY
Prediction: headset routing will save the bike industry. All you suckers with rational cable routing are riding obsolete bikes! Throw them away and buy new ones! That SRAM factory has a whole floor dedicate to obscure cable routing options. #disruptcablerouting
I tried really hard to work cable and ungovernable into a word, and it made my head hurt so I gave up
deep state satanic cable
Just a thought.
The $250 July Tour de France coupon was PC's big coupon....then add tax and shipping.
TPC could probably make even more money selling the data of the people who buy bikes from them.
I meant the sell of data from them the way you'd say if they went for that deal, I have some prime real estate for sale in North Jersey they may be interested in...
Mechanics can mess around when youre paying for suspension/etc rebuild for $/hr, but cracking jokes with high prices and low ball offers would cause me to avoid.
On a side note, I love my bike and if anyone wants a hell of a deal $2250 is a steal right now for what you get.
If Tesla can cut prices on a model Y 20-25%, so can the bike industry if they want volume to return.
The Bike industry has set a new high price standard, and only time will tell if they can keep selling bikes at these elevated prices. Supply and demand will work that out. But what many need to realize is that Sales ( revenue ) are only part of the equation. Net Profit is what companies essentially look at to determine what is sustainable and what is not.
Sales can be down 25%, but profit up 50%. Many would produce less bikes with less labor and keep profits high and net income could stay the same or higher.
Large companies put out financial reports, the reports say sales are down, why do you assume anyone is being 'slapped down' or is surprised?
Seems to me the smart companies found a way to create sustainable growth during the bike boom, and beyond.
While others used it as the means to go bankrupt they’ve been waiting for- with a government grant to break the fall.
I still wonder about those smaller companies that went belly up and cried foul. This industry is as seasonal as DH skiing. Not their first rodeo..
Which companies do you have in mind that have gone bankrupt and waited for govt help then?
You don’t have much experience / knowledge about the bike biz, do you?
Thanks for telling me what I know!
I used to work for Tesla in the early days circa 2008.
I was self employed during COVID and was offered a small business grant. Didn’t take it.
Ants who can’t ride good.
In reality your'e making progressively less money annually. This is why people tend to jump companies WAY more than they did back in the day.
There's even a bike listed for ~$7500 that has nearly no info on the specs, and has misspelled the make - despite it being written in size 300 font, black on white, on the downtube. Surely that sort of attention to detail isn't going to be 'confidence inspiring' when doing a multi-thousand dollar transaction.
Is this true or a joke? Not being a dick, just genuinely curious and surprised.
I just bought a new one instead.
Data taken from the wayback machine
They wear fine and I haven't had any issues. Did about 250 days of riding last year.
Tried Delium too. I liked them but I only got a couple hundred miles before the side knobs started falling off. TBF though, they were $45 at full price and when I complained they sent me a new one.
you meant women just didn't make purchases?.. )
Wasn't it obvious?..
MFF's model was fat women(sorry, I don't want to type 405 words describing what I mean without saying fat), buying HIGH END CYCLING clothes.....the rub here(zero pun intended) is that no one is a HIGH END cyclist when they are obese......sure, people get into it obese, but by the time you decide to buy $1000 in cycling kit, you have lost a shit ton(still no pun intended) of weight, and can buy normal clothes and your options are limitless.
so the model was set for failure once the brand was sold to Spesh.....it should have been kept niche, and it could have continued on in it's limited and focused scope, in perpetuity.
A decade after Sinyard helped start the program that would research how cycling could benefit kids with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, that day might be here, and it might lead to more kids turning pedals instead of only taking pills.
Does that take research? Isn't the best solution for a kid that wants to move, just to allow it to move? Or were there some "experts" claiming that "only pills" is the better alternative? Baffling.
You answered your own question.
It takes data, lots of data to go up against Big Pharma.
Most parents are already burnt out, finding the extra time for a potential treatment that involves time consuming freetime activities which to many seems like a risky endevour when they´re already walking on the edge in terms of time management. To these people "knowing" what they´re doing will be worth it and better their situation is important. We can´t look at this from the perspective of people with non-neurodivergent kids. To us it seems obvious that a kid will balance itself out through strenuous activity. With ADHD kids that is not the case. These kids will often times work you and themselves into the ground and then be back for round two a second later, frustrating themselves the most in the process. Furthermore, these kids don´t just wan´t to move. They show a plethora of symptoms ranging from excessive movement to poor impulse control, irritability and high levels of frustration. The parents often won´t see any immediate benefit from most programs, especially since simply putting them on a bicycle won´t magically transform them into a regular kid. In reality, these benefits will likely appear in the long run, especially when utilized together with many other approaches, so knowing that the benefits are likely to occur at some point is important to those working with these kids and their parents.
I´ve seen too many parents jump from program to program, switching approach every week and at some point simply going through the motions with no hope to ever see any change.
Being able to tell these people that research can back up the claims is vital to keeping them focused on a chosen path and giving the kids time to reap the benefits.
There´s also too many programs with big claims but no data to back them up. Also a lot of esoteric nonsense that only tries to sound appealing to hopeless parents through the use of some new age bs approach.
I like to hate on big pharma as much as the next guy, but in this case that really is besides the point.
Some kids need the pills to not implode in spectacular fashion. Too many are on pills because their support system and society failed them. But that´s a whole different story to the research at hand, which is useful and important and taking the "i could have told you that" approach is frankly not helping the problem but rather cementing it.
As @hellanorcal states, it takes data to go up against these deeply ingrained ideas, but it´s not really big pharma, it´s society who expects the parents and doctors to quickly reign in these misfit kids by the most effective means available and that´s when we started putting all these kids on pills. Being able to show the research on alternative approaches is important to convince doctors, schools and society as a whole that there are other viable ways of symptom alleviation that don´t involve the excessive use of pills. It´s the factual armament the parents need in order to stand by an alternate approach in the face of criticism and pressure from (for example) teachers who try to push them down the sedative route only to keep their classroom in order.
What i´m trying to say is, don´t knock the people who are doing that research. It may sound mundane on the surface, but empirical data has more uses than simply generating knowledge which seems rather apparent to the untrained eye. That knowledge can then be used for change in a goal driven and directed manner. Without empirical data, anyone can simply push the idea aside. Research like this will also allow us to at some point pinpoint the mechanisms through which the activity affects the "problem", which then allows us to generalize it to other approaches. Maybe football has the same effect. Maybe it´s the rather solitary environment which cycling generates in combination with the bodily exercise which actually helps these kids focus on themselves and a team sport like footbal would be counterintuitive as it tends to much more feed into their frustrations and tends to overload their mental capacity (my personal observation). There´s so many variables we don´t see at a quick glance, which often times turn out to be the main contributing factor.
Don´t knock the seemingly mundane research. We wouldn´t be were we are today if at some point some dumbass hadn´t stuck their hand into a firepit only to realize it´s hot.
So you have two possible solutions:
a) INSTANT solution which require no time and effort, you throw some $$$ in buying pills and problem "solved". Of course you must repeat this regularly (daily?) but it only cost you $$$.
b) solution which takes TIME and INVOLVEMENT.
Which solution is preferred by parents and doctors you can tell by yearly BigPharma profit reports
As @Loki87 wrote above, this is probably oversimplification of problem, but in general i think there could be waaaaay less people dependant on pills for some mental health issues if only someone would be prepared to invest time and involvement into them, not just box of pills.
PS: Before someone jumps on me this is NOT to suggest that there aren't folks out there that require medication to treat their ADD/ADHD etc. Merely to agree that exercise is helpful when dealing with highly energetic kids.
There are different sides to this and this is just me. If I wouldn't have had my approach as a kid, I might have performed much worse and would have been more of a troublemaker. Which could have been a reason for an earlier diagnosis which might have saved me quite some frustration and hard work later on. Yet at the same time, I might have taken the harder road but it did work out eventually and I've learned much more about myself. There are just some situation which are a mismatch with what I can make work for myself (like those three hour tests I had to pass) and that's where some dexamphetamine can help. Just when I just have to dig through a big pile of paperwork and just get it done. But still, I think the basis should be the lifestyle, the pills should be the fix for those odd situations.
Monopolizing head protection and preventing innovation to the best of their ability.
I’ll still never get over how many things they’ve bought out that tested higher than there stuff with Virginia ratings to just ultimately bin it and push their products.
Major one being they bought out Fox Fluid which scored better in every way than MIPS but then they proceeded to stop production on it and now fox only uses MIPS
Having gained some weight due to illness shopping became impossible, luckily I'm moving back towards my usual size. Machines for Freedom seemed interesting, but since they only ship directly from them in the US, ordering stuff to Europe with postage, customs and taxes maybe to find out they didn't fit and need to return it... Didn't get me to give them a try.
But yeah I think you're about right with the timing. Bought me an angleset and some new bearings at the beginning of the pandemic and decided to ride it out
The numbers here are interesting: more than 3x the number of motorcycles sold as compared to all types of bicycles. It just goes to show the development cost is not as easily recouped on bicycles.
See? Not so hard ,its ok to address your audience like adults.
"smaller chainrings and 9t cogs aren;t slower! here, look at this pretty distorted graph!"
I used fatmap a tiny bit for ski touring a few years ago, but I quickly went back to regular topo & satellite maps (Caltopo / Gaia / etc). The 3D mapping just doesn't seem that useful to me. But maybe I'm an idiot.
- Thank you Capt. Obvious! Some real geniuses are working there...
"By leading the progressive revolution of size, inclusivity, representation, and diversity within the cycling space, and focusing on the underrepresented women's category, Machines was a beacon of inspiration," founder Jennifer Kriske
Join Pinkbike Login