Eric Carter Joins Marin Bikes

Jan 15, 2015 at 11:31
by Pinkbike Staff  
Eric Carter Team Manager Specialized Gravity 2014

Marin Mountain Bikes Inc. today announced key changes to its sales staff. Racing legend Eric Carter has joined Marin and will be managing the Southern California territory as a Factory Rep. Cedar Kyes will move north to manage the Pacific Northwest territory.

Carter has had a 25 year career as a professional athlete, with multiple World and National Championships in BMX, Four Cross and Downhill disciplines. After retiring from his elite racing career, Carter held roles ranging from Brand Ambassador for GT Bicycles, Product Manager for Hyper Bicycles and, most recently, Downhill Program Manager for Specialized. He has already started hitting the road in his territory. In his free time, Eric can be found hanging out with his wife and kids, or riding his bike in the hills behind his home.

bigquotesAfter the various jobs in the industry post elite racing, I realized that being a sales rep in Southern California would be the best long term job for me in the industry. I think it's similar in approach and mentality to being a racer in the fact that the harder you work, the better your results. To have the opportunity to work with a historic brand like Marin, especially during these growth years, is something I am very excited about. Marin has been involved with this sport from the start and I look forward to helping Marin grow its position in Southern California. The brand is making moves and is committed to making a big push to support its dealers, sales reps and riders and I am excited to be a part of the effort. - Eric Carter

Sunset drift

Image by Dan Severson

Cedar Kyes, a native of Portland, OR, will be relocating to his home base the Pacific Northwest in the coming weeks. This will mark the first time in years that this territory will have direct Marin representation. Kyes has had a 20 year-long career in the bicycle and snowsports industries and has been a Marin Factory Rep for the past two years.

bigquotesI chased my dreams down to California and now I'm bringing the dream back home. I am forever grateful to Marin Bikes for this opportunity to grow both personally and professionally. The amazing people I've met and the awesome places I've been will always be a part of me. Big thanks to everyone who has helped me along the way! - Cedar Kyes

bigquotesI am thrilled to be able to make this move, we now have full factory representation throughout the West Coast. I think this shows both existing and potential dealers that we are committed to serving their needs and growing the Marin brand. EC is a well respected member of the tribe who knows how to win and knows that hard work will bring success. Cedar is a proven member of our team who is moving back to his home turf to take on a territory with tons of growth potential. I'm confident they will both be very successful in their new roles. - Thad Fabish, Marin's National Sales Manager

Marin’s inside sales team of James Drake and Devon Mitchell remains the same, with James focused on the Midwest and East Coast, and Devon handling the West.

About Marin
Founded in 1986, Marin Bikes California is a pioneering, innovative bike company built and run by passionate riders. Born out of the cycling paradise of Marin County and San Francisco, we’re obsessed with superior design, quality, and performance.



  • 113 3
 Your loss, Specialized. Don't know a good thing when they have it, evidently.
  • 73 2
 He made troy and gwin 2nd and 3rd in world and you gave him up. Just plain stupid.... not a smart decision
  • 21 23
 This gets boring, can we change the scape goat now? Or shall we proceed with burning the witch?
  • 60 1
 @WAKIdesigns Does she weigh the same as a duck?
  • 6 0
 Im not dead yet
  • 7 1
 You'll be stone dead in a moment
  • 11 15
flag ka-brap (Jan 15, 2015 at 13:28) (Below Threshold)
 guys, even EC himself said he had a 1-year contract with Specialized. The blatant hate for the big S is hilarious
  • 19 2
 @ka-brap specialized still could have renewed his contract and kept him as the team manager.
  • 2 0
 What is the deal with Marin Bikes in the USA?

Obviously I know the original history, my second mountain bike in 1991 was a Marin Pine Mountain.

However, they built a good business here in the UK with their popular, Quad-Link full suspension bikes designed by Jon Whyte

The UK distributor ATB Sales then working with Jon to create the Whyte brand originally as a high end extension of Marin for UK customers and now seems to encompass a full brand including hybrids and commuters.

Never seen much of their bikes outside of the UK? Do they have much market share in the USA, and Canada?
  • 17 3
 1 year contract or not, if somebody does a bang-up job, the proper response is to extend that contract(& up their compensation,) not kick them to the curb.
  • 28 6
 I love it how everyone here knows that it was Specialized who ended it. People always assume it's the brand that gets rid of employees or athletes, when that's not necessarily the case. No one here knows the real story (including me) but EC himself that he had a 1-year deal and he hated being away from his family, even for attending races. Landing a rep job so he can stay closer to home makes a lot of sense for a family man...
  • 6 0

I live in San Francisco and ride in Marin a lot. almost nobody rides their bikes here! it's a little weird, especially since many of their models are very nice.

they have a retail shop near downtown...and it is not very well staffed or stocked. hard to find a good mtb in the place and even harder to get decent help. its sort of a shame...being the namesake and all....
  • 103 0
 Hey guys… Thanks for the support on the Specialized Team Manager deal…

Reality is its probably better for both parties that I was not offered a spot with them for this season… I am not sure how I would have fit in with some of the new management ways.

That is no way a slam to them… Just reality... As I have said before… I am thankful for the opportunity they provided… I had a super fun season and am very proud of the teams results... I learned a ton about myself and was able to see a lot of old friends on the circuit and make some new ones as well.

That chapter of my life is now closed and in my rear view mirror.

I am a looking forward type of person and this new opportunity with some really cool folks at Marin is very exciting for me.
  • 9 8
 EC - thanks for clearing it up... but are you sure that you haven't moved due to the dramatic difference in performance between the latest Enduro and the new Nomad?

*may contain sarcasm Smile

Have a great time at Marin!
  • 7 0

Hey Eric

Been a fan of yours for years (I started riding MTB in 1986, after years of racing BMX and freestyle). The USA scene was something we always looked at for inspiration, and you were there well among many other talented riders.

Great to see you finding a solid business career after you retired from your riding career.

good luck for the future with Marin, and as always, Happy Trails!


Rob C, London, England.
  • 8 1
 I can see it - pink bike awards 2015 "Biggest F@ck up of 2015" goes to specialised getting rid of carter.
  • 4 8
flag HutchJR (Jan 15, 2015 at 14:34) (Below Threshold)
 think of it guys; specialized (like im guessing all other brands) are COMPANIES. All they want to do is sell bikes, not get top positions in wc or whatever. If the sales increase, he would have stayed, but as it seems the sales have decreased. A thing specialized asked him to do was improve the accesability of the pits at wc's to improve the lieklyhood of a customer. Its all about the money.
  • 9 2
 No it's never only about the money in MTB. If you are only about the money then you are either at Wallstreet or you wash dishes. MTB is not a business to get rich in. If you want to get rich on sport you go into fitness and nutrition. Nobody is able to deliver bikes on any higher level without putting lots of passion and pure joy of creating into it. Look, I am not defending Spec directly, I don't really give a damn as I buy stuff that comes avaliable at good price, hitting close to my likes so I am a disloyal asshole. But what most of Spec haters do is nothing more but witch hunt, everyone needs a scape goat and therefore most of accusations have nothing to do with reality. Spec simply took place of Kona, whatever they do, a lot of frustrated blokes will find a problem with it.
  • 2 1
 im not hating on spec at all, just giving my opininion on what i see as a pretty valid reason for him leaving even though a it seems averyine else still wanted him to stay
  • 4 0
 @ECMTB1... class act. Show'em how its done brother. The harder you work.. the luckier you get in sales!
  • 4 12
flag makripper (Jan 15, 2015 at 15:01) (Below Threshold)
 I'm not sure why this is front page news. dude is just getting a sales job. kind of a bad PR move to make a story of it.
  • 7 0
 Mmmm none of our business makripper?
  • 3 1
 If it was all about money then all bikes would be the quality of walmart bikes.
  • 2 0
 ka-rap said it exact same thoughts.
  • 8 0
 Props to EC for maintaining a professional attitude on all his comments i have read on here as of late. i am not pro so i can be as crass as i want: spec got what they wanted. 2014 results. now they can strut the new demo around like a spring gobbler in the mags. they might not even care what happens in 2015. most demo lovers are gonna jump on the new one now so if they dont get the results they did with EC running things, it is a moot point. call me shallow, but my next bike may just be a marin simply because they are supporting my fav rider of all time. i like to support companies that do stuff that makes sense.
  • 4 1
 ...May never be rich but a so cal rep gig is a steadier paycheck than a team manager.
  • 4 0
 time for Marin to build a decent DH bike and a good DH team for EC to coach to excellence
  • 2 1
 Whatever. Specialized just lost more customers. I don't know if Marin picked one up, but I'm definitely not gravitating (haha! pun!) to the big S
  • 6 2
 Yea livefreeordie - they lost like 5 trolls who care for such bullcrap, meanwhile since the article been published they sold like 100 bikes to people who like their bikes of whom 99 never comment online. It's just funny to hear things like that, people who rarely if ever buy a new bike yet they behave as if they had money inthe pocket that they were just meant to spend but news of EC leaving for Marin made them go for some other brand due to immoral behaviour of Spec. They lost more clients.... Consider the possibility that you may be thinking way too much of yourself
  • 1 0
 @EC, Hope you get to spend more time with the famil in this new adventure, hope you do well and enjoy it
  • 2 0
 She turned me into a newt… I got better.
  • 1 0 should garner some serious sponsors and lead the most talented racers in the world to total domination of the competitive arena of this sport. Besides the way things have been going for Martin Whitely it looks as though there will be a hole to fill soon. Just a thought for the future. Humble champions know what it takes to win.
  • 1 0
 EC as usual class on and off the bike. All the best in the new role!
  • 3 0
 a-r-c The planning of something on that level is big time… Team manager and team owner are big differences… Believe me I have thought about it… Not sure If I its something I would want that much stress.

Last years gig was the perfect amount of workload/stress…. I could be on the hill filming the riders and going over lines after and try to help the riders with their mindsets (my favorite part)… But that stuff and just the planning workload that you have as a manager is still exhausting at the end of the season… I can't imagine the stress of things like getting killed at the airport check in for luggage and blowing the budget for the event before you have departed… Just watching "your" teams money go away...Team Owner Stress.

I really like what I have lined up with Marin right now and I can see this being a long term deal.
  • 1 4
 Blow me. Internet troll? Specialized fired a good guy after a great season. Eric Carter did his job well. After the Cafe Roubaix fiasco I could have given a shit less about Specialized. This cemented my opinion further. And you have no idea what my spending habits are. Sooooo. Eat a dick.
  • 3 0
 Ever heard of PM when you get so low?
  • 1 0
 Sigmund "WAKIdesigns" Freud.

*may also contain sarcasm ; )
  • 21 1
 I know this is stupid but...

My opinion of Marin Bikes just shot up from a "meh 4" to a " Cool! 7" with this move. Go EC!!

Tell me more about the bikes bro...
  • 7 0
 Absolutely. Could be just the man to give Marin a much-needed facelift.
  • 3 0
 Marin has always made good quality bikes for a decent price, even if they've been notoriously ugly, they were still a good value. They seem to have the looks sorted out, and they're still a good value, hopefully EC can do for Marin's sales what he did for Specialized WC results. It honestly won't take much, they're doing well on the US Enduro circuit, CX races, and have a pretty good product line, and now an expanding, and very good sales force. He's a good asset for any company to pick up, Marin either got their first, or showed up with the best offer, either way, congrats to Marin on scooping EC up, and congrats to EC on your new gig.
  • 1 0
 I am happy for Marin and EC. They will both improve in this creative environment
  • 3 0
 Sounds like a great new gig. Anything E.C is a part of will have great success look at the track record. With Marin having scored a big gun of the MTB world and Eric being close to home with a solid brand I'm sure this will be a happy and successful partnership.
  • 2 0
 probably a good move for a company that l haven't heard from in years
  • 10 3
 Curtis Keene is the only reason to not hate specialized
  • 24 0
 And Matt Hunter, Mitch Ropo, Gwin,..... All seem like good dudes.
  • 24 0
 Coastal Crew and Shredhard also.
  • 18 1
 brosnan is a lad too
  • 6 0
 don't forget Brad Benedict
  • 14 0
 Uhm... Bearclaw anyone?
  • 4 0
 Oh, and Kenny Smith. Monster
  • 11 0
 Sweet jesus, we left out Anneke Beerten.
  • 22 0
 There are a lot of good people at Specialized… Just because a manager and I don't see things the same way doesn't mean he is automatically bad… I personally think it was a mistake…but its done…and life is to short to dwell on things like that… The Specialized door has closed and this door of opportunity at Marin has opened.

I am sure Specialized have a set agenda and goals for their race program for 2015 and for whatever reason they felt it would be best achieved with a new manager… The new manager is a good guy with a ton of experience and currently working at Specialized so its a good fit… I hope the team does well this year and that some of the gel i brought to the program sticks.
  • 6 0
 ned overend
  • 3 0
 EC - you are a class act! Nice job last year. Is Houseman coming with you?
  • 3 0
 Thanks herzalot… Big House has his own thing going…. I think he has pulled back from the junior program and is focused on some stuff with ODI and hookit… but I'm not positive.
  • 3 0
 Whatever Spesh stuff went down, I find it much more interesting that Marin now has added two more heavy hitting, amazing folks in their company: EC and Cody Kelley. Sounds as though they're fixing to do some serious shit. Good on 'em!

Wishing you nothing but good luck and a bright future, @ECMTB1!
  • 5 0
 Thanks ambatt, Being hired as a sales guy for Marin one of the first questions I asked was "where is Marin headed as a brand?"

Adding Cody Kelley and continued support of The North American Enduro champ Kyle Warner is just part of the plan being hatched for growth at Marin.

Will be fun and exciting times these next couple of years under the Marin roof.
  • 1 0
 Did they tell you where they were headed?
  • 2 0
  • 6 0
 Congrats Cedar! The North West is in good hands for Marin!
  • 3 1
 I like how people pretend to have any idea what specialized did/didn't offer you, what the circumstances are or what your personal motivation was. Hope you can do some things with Marin worth talking about, competition is fierce these days.
  • 6 0
 I hear ya ….. but its human nature of for humans to speculate…. I hope i can help Marin as well…. I certainly look forward to the challenge.
  • 2 0
 Hey Eric! When I was about 14 John Kovachi (RIP) taught me how to build wheels. Truth be told, at about 16 I built-up a few for you! I was just a kid working off gas-money to travel the NORBA circuit, but I do remember seeing your name on a few wheel-build order sheets and being pumped! While John put the finishing touches on your wheels, I laced them. Fast-forward 18 years; I've moved out to CO, but I'm still working at a shop, and I'm still building wheels the way John taught me. If you need a wheel guy, let me know.

Anyway.... I'm happy to see you're with a company that understands history, charisma, personality, fun, and family. When I think of Specialized, I think of a soulless, money-driven group of lawyers digging for the last dollar of our sport. No offense to you or the team riders.
  • 2 0
 Good to see Kovachi living on through his techniques. I tried to stick around him at every BMX race I could to learn from him.....
  • 6 0
 John Kovachi was a wheel master…. Always looked forward to a fresh set of them Kovachi Wheels and thanks for putting your personal touches on some of my wheels from you guys.….

As Murryaybmx said, really good to see his art live on through his pupils… My wheel guy now is John Canepa… He was my mechanic at the end of my run with Mongoose and GT and he is one of my best friends…He built the now infamous "Aaron Gwin Leogang wheel" from this years World Cup in Austriia

I agree, I think the Marin people are a good group and I think working with them will be a lot of fun.
  • 1 0
 it will be interesting to see what Marin does in the future. They got some pretty good bikes with potential. And i think theirs been a few new riders added to their team, so it will be cool to see if they come out with a downhill bike. But its cool to see that a company that once made what i considered to be some of the goofiest looking bikes out their now seem to be gaining some momentum and new found market presence
  • 3 0
 Everyone, go here and browse a little, let's spike Marin's web hits in the name EC ! Congrats dude, have a great year
  • 1 0
 Haha… Love it…Thanks.
  • 1 0
 Wow. Short career at spec. I don't know much about Marin, but I can say that Kyle Warner is a class kid. Met him at Keystone, and aside from being wicked-fast, he's the kind of well-spoken / positive kid you want wearing your jersey. Maybe, indirectly, Carter can help Warner continue his winning ways.
  • 1 0
 Congrats on the new gig @ecmtb1 Marin looks to be making a strong push over the next few years. Bringing a guy like yourself on just upped their street cred big time. Good luck to you!
  • 3 1
 EC, you are and always will be the man. Best of luck with your new adventure at Marin.
  • 3 0
 Congrats Cedar! And that guy, what's his name? hehe
  • 2 0
 O're voir Cedar! I'm gonna take back the local 007 kom and there isn't a good damn thing you can do about it!
  • 1 2
 I just don't see any correlation between Gwin & Bronson's performance last year and Carter being in the pits for them. It's not as if they weren't killing it before he got there and I don't think EC selling inter tubes and cables is going to make their performances tank.
  • 1 0
 Resurrect the Marin Quake! I'm biased since I own one but it is a damn good bike! People think it's ugly but I'd say it looks like a beast, a tank, it's awesome!
  • 4 2
 All respect for the big S lost...
  • 3 0
 Congrats EC!!
  • 2 0
 Specialized = Special Ed.
Eric Carter SHREDS!!!

  • 1 0
 Congrats on the new gig EC. Lots of riding and lots of family time available in that position. Good move.
  • 2 0
 Congrats @ECMTB1 I'm stoked for you with this!

cheers bro!
  • 2 1
 Oh and get rid of the quoten shizzle drizzle bizzle
  • 1 0
 Congrats on the new job Eric!
  • 6 5
 He's no more Specialzed gravity manager? WTF?
  • 1 0
 Good luck my old friend you rock.
  • 1 0
  • 1 0
 Answer that friend request I sent 5 years ago ;-)
  • 1 0
 Wow, another game changer nominee?
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