Kona Bikes Sold to Kent Outdoors

Jan 19, 2022 at 6:49
by James Smurthwaite  
Miranda and Connor s Process X s

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"


264 Comments

  • 370 8
 I Kent believe this!!
  • 348 1
 You're Kona have too!
  • 227 0
 Na na na na Na na na na Hei Hei Hei Goodbye.
  • 15 1
 @theboypanda: Nu-Nu Never!
  • 62 0
 It's gonna be ok,Dawg.
  • 72 1
 It's all just a Process we have to work through. Calm....deep breaths....there, feeling better?
  • 42 0
 It might take a bit to fully Process.
  • 24 2
 Things wont change overnight, it's a Process
  • 68 0
 There's a new Big Kahuna in town
  • 107 0
 This deal is Stinky.
  • 50 0
 @rossluzz: at least let em take a stab at it
  • 62 0
 @rossluzz: Exactly! Stinky, like when a Dawg leaves a Coiler on the living room carpet.
  • 32 0
 Wah wah
  • 50 0
 This pun train is Dee-lux
  • 61 0
 Although most faces remain they same, they appear to have a new Operator.
  • 10 1
 Good one Dawg!
  • 2 4
 @kcy4130: I cant double props you on this
  • 6 0
 Don’t lose your heads, everyone. Unit to chill out.
  • 9 0
 @crazy-canuck: Ah Chute! I wish I'd thought of that one.
  • 18 0
 I feel like this is a Stab in the back...
  • 26 0
 Explosif news!
  • 8 0
 This makes me want to go shred stuff
  • 42 0
 Humuhumunukunukuāpuaʻa.
  • 21 0
 @husstler: I might get roasted for this, but im going to dew it anyway. I dont care about the process of who owns it or who the operator of the company is, they are a blast to shred. I dont see what the hoo-ha is all about.
  • 2 0
 It seems like this Process was inevitable!
  • 6 0
 Hopefully Kent isn't a SCAB on Kona...
  • 8 0
 @usnavycycling: Wo is right. All we can hope for the existing Kona staff is that their new overlords aren't a bunch of kents.
  • 2 0
 @sinister-dna: 7 bikes names involved, nice!
  • 8 0
 This new big Honzo must be an absolute Unit who goes by Major Jake. I hope this Process doesn't create a Fire Mountain of troubles for the Libre Employees.
  • 2 0
 @usnavycycling: Jake keep his job !
  • 12 0
 Hei Hei Kona is in the Process of getting a new Operator and that means a new head Honzo.
  • 3 0
 like a breath of fresh Stinky Air
  • 3 0
 That check must’ve been quite The Unit!
  • 5 0
 Explosif news!
  • 6 0
 Hahanna! These puns makena me laugh!
  • 4 0
 My Precept-ion is that this new partnership will become an unstoppable Unit that will set Fire to the Mountain and give all a reason to say Wo. Here's hoping that the Kent folks will be smooth Operators and this Process will let us Shred on some forward thinking bikes or someone is going to be thrown into the Paddy Wagon.
  • 2 0
 Woo!
  • 2 0
 Seems like a shonky good deal, chute if I'd known I would of bought Kona but would to sell some stuff first, then I could be the big honzo in charge and bass in all the glory
  • 2 0
 I wonder if CEO Ken Meidell will be bringing his own Entourage..
  • 1 0
 Hei Hei, this kind of Stuff happens. Hopefully wasn't a Shonky deal.
  • 2 0
 Well, hopefully the Kona crew got their Dew with a big ol' Clump of cash. I'm sure negotiations were Hot but Kula heads worked it out.
  • 1 0
 @kiddlivid: This stinky news makes my unit go soft, but hei, maybe they'll just let the head honzo keep operating.
  • 3 1
 Sounds like kona has a new operator.
  • 1 1
 @Vudu74: smoooooth Operator!
  • 1 0
 Kona being thrown into the Caldera of Kent Outdoors!
  • 1 0
 @bcvic: simple, yet precise. This is likely top 10 in the list
  • 5 0
 @chezotron: Deep breaths and count to three, OK? 1… 5…. 3….
  • 1 0
 I wonder how much Muni-Mula they paid for the company? Even with Jake The Snake still working there, you'd expect a new King Kikapu to be running the place. I'm guessing the race team got a Scratch and Sniff as to the new Project 2 and they were like "see ya Dawg".
  • 2 0
 "Hot" off the presses
  • 3 0
 People always think my ebike is from Kent. I hear them whisper it when I ride past.
  • 1 0
 HA-HA! Naa, don't believe it.
  • 1 0
 This is scrap
  • 1 0
 Hoping the new owners aren't a bunch of Wozos
  • 2 0
 A'HA.
  • 232 2
 Part of me worries that this whole surge of bike sales has attracted a lot of investors that will leave us all behind once the bike market returns to more of a "normal" and we are going to lose all the cool brands that started this sport.
  • 62 0
 I totally agree. I look back at the snowboard industry in its prime and think this could be happening here soon too.
  • 10 12
 @Skiskateshane: Could be explosif for a lot of brands.
  • 16 2
 @Skiskateshane: Rollerblading is a GREAT example too. Although if mtb didn't die after the surge in the 90's I doubt its going to die now. Likely you're just gonna see these niche brands getting bought become more mainstream(aligning more with trek/spesh) and offerings get a little more dull, one plus side is pricing could maybe get more competitive. But at the end of the day you're right, some of these brands will be sold for pennies on the dollar in a few years when these PE companies try to offload them.
  • 42 0
 @Skiskateshane: Exactly one of the examples I can think of.

Big investment groups come in when they see the big wave of sales and enthusiasm in a sport, start making offers to the owners they can't refuse and buy up a majority if not all of stake in the company. Then for the first few years they will stay on top of the cool factor and make sure they "stick to their roots" because its easy to do when you can't even keep the show room floor stocked. But like all boom/bust cycles the wave has gotta crash and you dont have to think long back to a time where shops where giving 30% off on last years model cause they cant sell them. that's really when all the ugly BS starts and 30+ year companies dissolve overnight. These investment groups don't have the heart nor energy to keep the lights on when things get tough.

can't blame them for selling, only way they will survive in this kind of market...but I also see the writing on the wall for a lot of these brands in the next 5-10 years.
  • 22 17
 Things are different now. Bikes don't suck, there's actually trails, and YouTube/Instagram are exposing millions of new people to the sport. This is sustainable growth not boom and bust.
  • 9 2
 Yea, but look at all the small shops cropping up. I like it. The high end bike market will gravitate towards startups, growing them, and starting the cycle all over again. I won't loose a second of sleep over this tonight.
  • 2 7
flag tprojosh (Jan 19, 2022 at 7:23) (Below Threshold)
 @acdownhill: So it could Kilauea the fun brands huh, humu humu hum, i'm going back to my haole.
  • 21 1
 @flymiamibro22: Pretty sure they said the same kind of things in the 90's to MTBers too.... same to the BMXers in the 80's, and Skaters in late 70's. Everything in the current economic system is boom and bust except digging graves.
  • 1 0
 @numbnuts1977: couldn't agree more. We Are One Arrival is #1 on my wish list.
  • 7 0
 @flymiamibro22: you are correct that much of this growth is sustainable, but it's not all sustainable. By the very nature of markets and human psychology, when luxury goods grow, there is an element of "hype" that leads lots of people to spend some money who will not be contributing to the niche market in the long term. The growth and popularity means that many people will give mtb a try, buy a bike and the gear, and then not really maintain their involvement. If that's even 25% of the growth, it still has to bust at some point.

TL;DR most things that boom eventually bust, even if the bust doesn't drop things to pre-boom levels
  • 2 0
 Brands come and go. There will always be another cooler brand right behind.
  • 10 0
 Yes, there is a bubble, and it will burst. Happened in the late 80s in the BMX world, happened with snowboarding, as someone mentioned. We will then see fewer people riding in the parks and trails, which I think will be a good thing for those of us who really love the sport and stick with it.
  • 6 0
 I was just saying this to friends the other day I think we are on the top of the second big wave of mountain bikes. You can already see sales dropping off and people selling their basically new bikes.
  • 14 0
 @TheR: less flow trails, more loamers
  • 2 0
 @Skiskateshane: on the positive that might make space for some of the legit newer brands that need market share to build their businesses, especially those doing manufacturing (and on-shore to boot) vs. the brand & marketing focuses ones.
  • 1 0
 @Super7: I have an new 2022 SP1 :-)
  • 3 0
 @trialsracer: Agreed. Same thing happened to ski/board industry. Huge boom followed by a slow decline over the years. Not enough to kill the industry but certainly condensed the number of brands and has led to the shit show that is Vail resorts. Unfortunately biking like skiing has an economic barrier to entry and not everyone can justify the expense.
  • 2 0
 I think it's the natural progression. companies grow and get sold to PE companies, but newer companies take their place. what we are seeing is the rise of new "cool" brands like Forbidden and others. Sure, some wont survive, but they'll take up the market share for "cool and boutique" as the "older" brands start to cut costs, sell more and less expensive bikes in more places.
  • 1 2
 Good time to sell! Happening with fox head too so not many gna be rocking fox with the way that brand is going.
  • 9 8
 I've been told by people close by that Kona headquarters is more like a bad episode of Portlandia these days, so probably not a big loss. Also, screw Kona after they told me to epoxy a carbon link on my 153 back together despite my original owner lifetime warranty. Also, screw Kona hard. Yeah...specifically the guy in warranty who told me that crap and any and every person in their social media department. You know...
  • 6 0
 My local used bike group (on Facebook marketplace) has almost every listing as,"Bought spring 2020 (or newer!). Used 5 times". Prices are close the original price. And they're not crap bikes. That worries me more then a take over. People in the know might want to save $500 on a 2020 or 2021, then a 2022 from a shop. $3000+ bikes all over the group I'm in. That's not going to help the flat sales the last 12 months..
  • 2 1
 @TheR: So true!! I was in the 80's BMX scene, 90's mtb boom. In 1999-2000. I would only see my tire tracks in the dirt for up to a week. Bikes are way better this time though. Just gotta wait...
  • 4 0
 spend your money wisely. there are still rider owned brands and others worthy of support.
  • 1 0
 @shredddr: Like who? It’s getting tougher and tougher these days for small brands to compete.
  • 5 0
 @TheR: Transition, Guerilla Gravity, Forbidden among others. The pool is getting smaller though.
  • 8 0
 @shredddr: i'll add banshee to the list.
  • 5 0
 @acdownhill: I agree, but couldn't help but extrapolate your comment as it may apply to a host of bike sites recently bought up by an industry titan, including one that relies heavily on their comment section to generate clicks.
  • 4 0
 thats forsure going to happen. its odd to me that so many of these large non-bike company conglomerates and private equity funds are investing right at the height of the covid bike bubble. idk maybe mountain biking was on an upward trajectory before covid, i cant see the numbers but it looks to me like theyre getting in at the top of the market
  • 1 0
 @codypup: Oh trust me the comparison wasn't lost on me between the lines Wink
  • 2 0
 Buy small, stay small. Keep your money local.
  • 5 0
 @pbfan08: I worked for a retail bicycle chain in the late 90's, and their warehouse had two big rows of inline skates that were already 2 or 3 years out-of-date, and they were desperately trying to get rid of them. Even at 50% off, nobody wanted them. The General Manager walked by my office and asked what my shoe size was, then what my wife's shoe size was before storming off. A minute later, he dumped two boxes of skates on my floor and said "I don't want to see these ever again". I think the last few dozen pairs ended up in the dumpster.
  • 1 0
 @shredddr: Yeah, they’re all on the rise. Don’t be surprised, though, when any of those get bought out. I think it’s just an inevitability. Evolve or die out.
  • 1 0
 @SterlingArcher: Structure Cycleworks rolls in
  • 4 0
 @savagelake: Banshee, Knolly, WeAreOne, Evil, Deviate, Nicolai, Revel/Canfield, Esker, etc

Makes me kinda happy that the mtb community supports smaller companies and when the goal is to ride your mtb every day, have a nice house, a nice truck/suv to get you to the trail and you want to live in Squamish, Bellingham, Bend, Oakridge instead of NYC, LA or SF, you don’t need as much money as a bigger business like Trek, Specialized, corporate manufactures with shareholders and the bottom line is everything
  • 1 0
 @surfhard987: make America gnar again!
  • 3 0
 @blowmyfuse: this is actually a big problem for them. The head of the warranty department is terribly out of touch with quality expectations. My store went from being a large kona dealer to dropping the brand solely because of the type of warranty interactions you described. I heard they got bought and though, hey maybe they’ll change the warranty staff and we can sell kona again. One of my favorite personal bikes of all time was a process. And I loved the people and experience when I visited their headquarters.
  • 2 0
 Kona lost it in the last years... They did the super slack HA Honzo... But the rest was adult desig. No more Joe, no more Bike Hot Rod, no more weird suspension improvements. Clean and simple lineup with limited number of models which share the same "principals". 2 lines of full sus bikes (Hei Hei design was different to Hei Hei CR, so there are 2 sub species, but entire Process line looks the same from a distance). This is what big company would do. Unification of the products. I am affraid that new big owner will only continue this path and Kona will never return to its cool roots.
  • 1 0
 @wastedqba: To survive as a viable company, they must improve their loan-to-value. Their top-top end mountain bike at 8k comes with a GX drivetrain.
  • 2 0
 @smaptyjohnson: local dealer here who has stayed steady for years on years has been a long time Kona dealer. He was so disgusted that he paid for the link himself and just gave it to me.

He wanted me to not buy a Kona from him because he was like "You beat the shit out of stuff & I don't want to have to deal with non-stop warranty crap. Little did he know, it would be exactly one attempt before we both walked away from it. Luckily we're still buddies, but stuff like that costs dealers and customers to break relationships.
  • 2 0
 @bigkat273: My perception here is that ski/snowboarding is a high commitment sport that requires hours of travel for most people. Compare that to mountain biking where you can drive 15-30 minutes to your local trails and get a very similar thrill, and a better cardio workout.

Also, lift ticket prices are totally insane unless you're a passholder of one of the big conglomerates.

I had kids a few years ago and just completely stopped snowboarding. Can't really abandon the wife and young kids for a weekend trip to snowboard. Hell, I don't even have time to do bike park days!
  • 2 0
 @skyroach: Right there with you on skiing. I'm in that donut hole where one of those expensive passes will never make economic sense (I can't do big trips out west multiple times per year). The ticket window prices are getting ridiculous, especially for a family, so I ski a lot less - maybe a couple of days a year if I see a good deal on a day pass to a non-megacorp-owned mountain.

As for biking, I have a trailhead to 25 miles of singletrack across the street. If I hop in the car and drive 15 minutes, I can access another 50. It's XC trails, not those monster jump lines I see videos of, but it's also essentially "free" (essentially, because I'm a volunteer for trail maintenance, so I do pay in a sense, plus my taxes).
  • 61 2
 I need a moment to Process this
  • 12 2
 I just don’t want it to be a Stinky Deel
  • 5 5
 @5afety3rd: Already made this joke, but its ok dawg
  • 16 1
 Sorry, had to take a Stab at it.
  • 2 2
 @5afety3rd: Well Chute its just For Play anyways, I still think your joke was Hot.
  • 1 0
 How many Units of time do you need?
  • 74 19
 Ken Meidell the CEO over there is a good friend. Looking forward to them doing more in the gravel space! Be safe be well, Incognito Robin
  • 8 79
flag Bushmaster123 (Jan 19, 2022 at 7:27) (Below Threshold)
 Oh really shithead?
  • 72 6
 @Bushmaster123: Let's go Bushmaster123!

Be safe be well,
Incognito Robin
  • 23 0
 @Bushmaster123: get a job lol
  • 3 18
flag nurseben (Jan 19, 2022 at 10:05) (Below Threshold)
 name dropping, hmmm
  • 16 2
 You might be joking, but Ken IS a friend of mine and a real mountain biker and good dude. He sat on the board of Evergreen for years and has helped put together a few land deals that got us riding spots in Washington.

I know nothing about Kent, but if Kona was going to sell anyway, best case scenario is a true mtber at the helm not just some private equity pirates (cough… Raleigh/Diamondback…cough).
  • 12 0
 @JustinVP: @JustinVP: just a heads up, Kona>Kent> owned by private equity pirates:
Seawall capital

Source:
sgbonline.com/kent-watersports-rebrands-to-kent-outdoors-acquires-bote-and-kona-bicycles


Boom-roasted
  • 2 1
 @yakimonti: Interesting. We’ll see how it plays out. All bike brands need a true rider at the helm, so they at least have a chance.

Santacruz, Fox/Raceface, Troy Lee and many others are also private equity-owned, so it’s possible to keep their soul. Of course there’s a long trail of companies that PE/VC have destroyed.
  • 5 0
 Kona always had a great range of gravel/touring options
  • 3 1
 @notoutsideceo:

It's like Where's Waldo spotting your comments these days. Keep up the good work.
  • 2 1
 @nurseben: nobody likes you
  • 1 1
 @SterlingArcher: is McDonald's hiring? Ask for me when you get to work K? Thanks Sterls!
  • 1 0
 @Bushmaster123: yeah I own the joint sucka
  • 30 1
 Good, i'm sure Kona needed an injection of capitol. They are one of the few brands i've stuck with over the years. Consistent build quality, fantastic paint jobs and excellent customer service.
  • 18 2
 Capital, but yes.
  • 14 1
 "excellent customer service" might be exaggerating a bit. Warranty department had it's issues.

As someone who's owned nine Kona bikes since 2015, I hope this leads to more competitive pricing and distribution. At this point they might might be a good candidate for DTC.
  • 5 3
 @HB208: auto correct
  • 2 0
 Alternatively, they have very strong positive cash flow and were desirable for takeover. Acquisition due to hard times are only a portion of purchases.
  • 6 0
 @ATXZJ: Nine bikes in six years? Wow! And I thought I had a “bike problem.”

But yes, I think this is a good opportunity for Kona. Sounds like a good “bro deal.” Kona, you keep doing what you’re doing, and we‘lol give you the capital you need to keep doing it.
  • 3 1
 @ATXZJ: Warranty at Kona has been pretty gosh darn great for us. Not going to name names, but not everyone in office is always easy to work with, but we've literally never had a warranty denied for any reasonable cause. I'd stand by excellent customer service all day with Kona.
  • 4 0
 I've had great warranty experiences from kona, because I kept cracking their frames.
  • 4 0
 @TheR: yeah, lol. Two 111s , 134, 153, Hei Hei, Private Jake, honzo and fire mountain for my kid.

I was all in on Kona. Wife and I even stopped by HQ when we were in Washington. I jumped ship for two high pivots from other bike companies.

All warranty concerns came from our local bike shops that carried Kona. None of them had good feedback when it came to dealing with warranty issues. That was my biggest motivation to sell my bikes when they were at the end of their frame warranty.

Hope Kona keeps it weird.
  • 5 0
 They used to be good bikes for a good price, but their prices the past few years do not match their product. They need to offer either better value or more differentiated products.
  • 4 0
 @ATXZJ: I think the Process 153 is the best bikes I’ve ever ridden. Not that I’ve ridden 9 bikes in the last 5 years.
  • 1 0
 @TheR: I had the 1st generation so wasnt as good as the newer stuff
  • 9 0
 Cash me Outside+ howboutdat
  • 1 1
 @ATXZJ: yeah, rear end on 1st gen processes really let the bike down. It was still fun as hell, but the rear end felt like it was going to shake off in tougher stuff. Beamer suspension is just so much stiffer.
  • 2 0
 @ATXZJ: this is a very real issue, I’ve had to have some very difficult conversations with their warranty department about obvious warranties for long time brand loyal customers just like you.
  • 29 3
 Excited to read comments from folks who take this personally and infer Kona let them down by selling out.
  • 34 0
 The anger originally comes from when we all asked for a new 111 all we got was a Hei Hei missing a set of bearings in the rear triangle.
  • 2 1
 @TheBearDen: trust the process.
  • 4 1
 @TheBearDen: But they also gave us 5 overlapping models of gRaVeL bIkEs!
  • 2 0
 @TheBearDen: Damn it I was over this!
  • 2 0
 @tprojosh: lol I lost trust in them about 4 years after the "Process" started.
  • 3 0
 @edthesled: f*ck. Lol
  • 1 0
 Oh perhaps you have heard about this moderately popular mountain bike media website?
  • 18 0
 It's Seawall Capital behind Kent Outdoors. Not like Kent just purchased Kona, it's a stupid private equity firm that's going to ruin Kona and their unique culture. What an awful thing to see after how well Kona has done lately.
  • 16 1
 Well their other investments include fragrances and cosmetics... so maybe the bikes will be less Stinky?
  • 1 0
 Make sure @JustinVP is aware
  • 2 0
 I'm personally looking forward to a Kona/Arbor snowbike collabo.
  • 3 0
 I mean, you know a ton of brands are owned by private equity firms right? Canyon, YT, trek, fox, enve, mavic, Santa Cruz, Hayes, etc. all owned by private equity firms.
  • 1 0
 @Keegansamonster: logic is lost on the dumb
  • 21 1
 so this is why Fearon left
  • 2 2
 Why would this push him out?
  • 15 1
 Dumping contracts to make the sale. They did the same thing Cannondale just before they sold this year.
  • 17 1
 He was Fearon a corporate take-over
  • 2 0
 Sounds like the freeride was over.
  • 17 0
 Kent is the new head Honzo at Kona.
  • 14 0
 Water sports??

I thought this was a family friendly site!!
  • 4 0
 Everything is better when wet. Big Grin
  • 11 2
 I like how they have to open up with "Its not that walmart brand!" That headline definitely reads poorly at first glance.

Regardless, just not a huge fan of Kona's direction now, but still glad they are still making great MTBs. But in all honesty, their models are pretty overpriced with wicked cut corners, they have too much emphasis on carbon models now basically alienating the budget market, missing some travel ranges such as the MIA Operator DH bike, and the visuals themselves have taken a steep dive lately imo. Especially with the bikes being available in one color I feel bad for somebody who really wanted the light sparkle pink build spec of a bike.........

They were absolutely slaying it in 2018. The Process 153 CR that year? So sick. Also the 2019 153 CRDL... Looked great. 2020 hit and their color palette looks like it hit a mid life crisis and now their line up looks like the result of a wine and paint night with middle age moms. Not sure who they are targeting here... Is it... Middle age moms? Errr
  • 6 2
 Kona has been extremely polar in its graphics and naming. Sometimes they hit it out of the park, other times not so much. I have actually not purchased a Kona because it was too ugly. I hate me an ugly bike.
  • 13 1
 "We are more dedicated than ever to building great bikes"
mhm
  • 5 0
 Does this imply that they were not as dedicated as they could be before?
  • 12 1
 Probably a deal Outside of my imagination
  • 4 0
 Do Kona make a plus tyre bike? They could call it the Outdoors+
  • 13 2
 This smells bad... Stinky news I must say
  • 8 0
 With the new owners (Seawall Capital) having a strong history and background in the cosmetics and perfume industries, I'm guessing the Stinky Deluxe will make a solid return.
  • 6 1
 When VF Corp bought Vans......they closed all the Vans skateparks. Being acquired has usually negative connotations but we have also seen better and bigger distribution/ manufacturing out of the deals. hopefully doesn't dilute the brand. Speaking of buy outs, Trek just bought 16 IBD's in Maryland and Va. Spokes ETC (6 stores) and Race Pace (7 stores) What the hell is happening??
  • 6 0
 Direct to consumer sales disguised in a Trek bike shop ala Apple stores.
Cut out the IBD, more $ for Trek.
  • 2 5
 VF and Vans analogy is a bad one. VF turned Vans around from a stank garage band, to powerhouse.
  • 1 1
 But Trek is still Family owned. Out of the big and many middle size brands Trek is the only one that is still family owned.
  • 2 0
 @Hpbike: Norco is owned by the children of founder Bert Lewis. Devinci has a sole proprietor as well.
  • 2 0
 @yakimonti: The Van Dorens did well in the deal . Steve got a job for life as well just being himself- ha ha.
  • 2 2
 Vans has built more public skateparks in the last 10 years than they closed in the mid 2000s .
  • 1 0
 @yakimonti: yeah your way off homie
  • 1 0
 @regdunlop: they closed 11parks so how many have they opened? Montreal, SLC, Paris(Chelles), Huntington beach, (they still have Orange so that doesn't count) Fact check me though I may be wrong.
  • 7 1
 Wonder if they will have a race program at all, or pull a YT and axe racing all together. Would be a shame to not see Miranda Miller on the EWS circuit.
  • 8 0
 I'm sure she would get picked up by another brand
  • 1 0
 MM is the only female racer I find myself consistently rooting for. I actually check results to see how she did. She's rad.
  • 6 1
 It's not so different than if you sold your house in the last couples years to capitalize on surging prices and demand. That opportunity allowed you to leverage up into a better house or location. Same goes for businesses.
  • 8 2
 That’s right, It just makes you a smooth Operator
  • 4 0
 That is not how it works unless you buy a house in a completely different area where the prices are more depressed then where you sold. Also, they didn't buy a new bike company.
  • 3 0
 @warmerdamj: exactly. If you are looking to upgrade your house your better of doing it in a down market. You sell in a hot market if you are looking to downsize.
  • 6 0
 For a little more clarity (from their website):

Seawall Capital, the private equity owner of Kent Watersports

WOnder why they're hiding behind Kent for this press release?
  • 7 0
 Uh if you've ever been in the deal world you know that this is standard. Kent and Kona were parties to the agreement, not the PE firm. Tons of PE owned companies make acquisitions all the time, and announce it as such lol.
  • 7 0
 Does Dick Cox still have a job? I miss working in a shop and having him be totally amped about the new product.
  • 6 0
 Absolute legend
  • 4 0
 Dik’s still out there rocking his crocs at dealers, don’t you worry
  • 3 0
 Legend. Ambassador for the sport.
  • 1 0
 My first trade show (BTAC) was twenty years ago or more, first time I met him I was like "this dude is cool, not wonder kona is so cool".

I stopped thinking kona was cool when I had to deal with their warranty guy, it took awhile but it happened. I imagine Dik is till cool, though.
  • 8 0
 So, a new Operator then?
  • 12 4
 RIP Kona
  • 8 2
 10/10 marketing dept of kent outdoors for SEO
store.kentoutdoors.ca
  • 5 0
 Damn.. wasn't 'we're the biggest original owned bike company' kona's marketing slogan a few years back...?
  • 1 0
 mightv'e been the oldest??
  • 5 0
 Kona definitely shaped the sport in the early 2000s...lots of good memories!
  • 6 0
 The real question is, how will this affect their seat tube angles?
  • 3 0
 " 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."

Noice.
  • 2 0
 Most Likely these guys want to retire. There in there 60s . These roles are probably part of purchase agreement as part of the goodwill- a few years of salary and guidance through the transition. Santa Cruz sale was the same - Novak (owner of NHS )was financing a large secondary business in his 70s.
  • 4 1
 I work for Kent and I will say, I'm VERY excited to finally have a bike brand in the company. I've talked with Ken about mountain biking multiple times, I'm excited to see how they're incorporated Smile
  • 2 0
 Can you pass along that we still dig the cool paint schemes? 2022 models all seem pretty darn boring, while my 2021 Honzo DL is absolutely stunning in the sun! Trek is doing some cool stuff, and Kona has been known to do some cool stuff as well. Love seeing that sort of 'brand personality' come out.
  • 2 0
 "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."

In other words, "Bikes are popular as hell right now so we're cashing in on this before things return to normal. Peace!"
  • 4 1
 This makes me feel really old Frown
33 years ago, I had the first gen Cinder Cone. Loved that bike! So much so that I had 3 Explosifs in a row after it.
  • 1 0
 This is natural. Kona founders were once vigorous and part of the core of the sport. Retirement and being passionate about other things. Lots of young and passionate new companies to push the sport forward and grow moving forwards.
  • 2 1
 Living in Whistler a life time ago, I brought a newish kona stab garbanzo. As I thought it would be easy to source parts for, as you know, there from Vancouver…. .. Nope, a rear end bearing kit was needed after a month of riding hard. An it was $250cad, an a 3 month wait on that kona kit. I was very surprised on the wait time.
  • 1 0
 I'm sad that we're losing awesome brands that built this sport to corporate brands and venture capitalists that don't give a 3/4 of rhinocerous piss about it but the dad jokes posted in this thread make me a little happier. Thanks y'all.
  • 4 0
 Kona ski bikes on the way!!
  • 3 1
 www.seawallcap.com/#invest

'CRITERIA : Target investment size of $25M to $100M'

So the somewhere between 25M and 100M.
  • 2 0
 While I understand this Kent is not the makers of Kent Bikes, if you want a good laugh, check out the mountain bikes on Kent's website. The reviews are excellent!
  • 3 0
 I hope they don't screw this up. I'd hate to have to create a new account.
  • 2 0
 This kinda makes me feel the way Dale in Step Brothers feels when Brennan and his mom move into him & his dad's house.
  • 5 0
 F'ing Catalina Wine Mixer
  • 3 0
 Kona bikes, from the makers of Margaritaville floaty tubes!
  • 1 2
 Kent also makes the lowest end possible bikes aswell. Their welds are as good as the guy that made his own Sunday.
  • 2 0
 @mhoshal: do you mean this other Kent (emphasis added)?
"Kent Outdoors (***not to be confused with Kent International***, the New Jersey-based mass market bicycle brand) ..."
  • 2 0
 Those Konas above look amazing. I know they are Mirandas and Conor and with custom equipment but just look beautiful.
  • 3 0
 Something about a new Operator
  • 3 0
 Looks like the kona club has come home to roost
  • 4 2
 Things that would make Kona relevant to me:
Switching to Horst link.
Releasing a long travel (ie: Stinky) bike.
  • 4 1
 The beginning of the end. Sad, really.
  • 3 0
 Corporate Owned for life!!!
  • 3 0
 This guy helped tank Dakine, how underwhelming.
  • 2 3
 link please?
  • 2 0
 Ken Meidell was also on the board of Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance. Nice to see trail advocates in the C Suite.
  • 2 0
 Im not sure if I like this episode Im sure there will be a fight in the lava dome
  • 1 0
 Two go in, one come out.
  • 1 0
 Great! A large company buys a small brand, will streamline MFG processes, cut waste and pass along the savings to the consumer!

Blank Stare
  • 1 0
 "We are more dedicated than ever to... partnering with our independent bike dealers" Would love to see some concrete moves behind this statement.
  • 3 1
 Great, now they're going to add a paywall
  • 4 5
 How about direct to customer sales? I like Kona but just wanna bikes to be cheaper. With those top bikes I always want to ask where is the engine because the price is similar to dirt motorcycles.
  • 2 0
 Hei Hei at these comments.
  • 1 0
 So Kent will now be a bike maker but not that Kent bikes. This should go well.
  • 2 0
 Goodthing I got my "Pre-22" Konas!!!
  • 2 0
 Kent couldn't wait to get their Honzo a sweet bike company like Kona.
  • 2 0
 I wish I could join in all the puns...that isn't in my Wheelhouse.
  • 1 0
 Is it a Bass or is it a Bass? Do I catch it and gut it or pluck on the strings?
  • 2 0
 Kona is sure looking for that magic link
  • 2 0
 Extra Shitty Dude
  • 2 0
 Outdoors+
  • 1 0
 Taken over by a watersports company. Hmm.....
  • 3 0
 *a private equity firm based in Boston which own some really promising cosmetics companies as well. lol
  • 9 0
 @dkidd: Just bought the new Process....because Im worth it.
  • 3 1
 "Water Sports" LOLOL
  • 2 0
 explosif news
  • 1 0
 hell yeah, maybe we'll actually get some good rider support now
  • 2 0
 RIP (niner pun intended)
  • 1 0
 The ring must be thrown back in the Lava Dome, Frodo!
  • 1 0
 Holy Kakapoi! I smell a Stinky Dawg. Primo Deelux Kaka!!
  • 1 0
 This year Trek or Specialized will be bought, y'all just wait.
  • 1 0
 So Kent is taking a crack at Kona?
  • 1 0
 I hope they dont stuff it
  • 1 0
 I'm gonna go smoke a cinder cone to clear my lava dome!!!
  • 1 0
 No wonder Conner left. . . .
  • 1 0
 Hopefully now they bring out a new process 111.
  • 1 0
 sounds like Jake is a Snake!
  • 1 0
 More width, less height.
  • 4 0
 that's me from age 30 to 40.
  • 1 0
 Vomiting news !
  • 1 0
 New Stinky release when?
  • 1 1
 Kent is a kick ass brand. this is awesome
  • 5 1
 You mean Seawall Capital?
  • 1 0
 This Meidell have to do.
  • 1 1
 Welcome to Kona,mongoose,Co Op mountain bikes!
  • 1 1
 watch them ruin Kona
  • 4 5
 Seems Stinky to me
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