WATERLOO, Wis. (BRAIN) — Trek Bicycle has a new suspension service offering at some Trek stores. The program promises a 14-day turnaround on service and consumers are offered use of a demo bike for two days while their bikes are out of service.

The program has pre-set prices on suspension and dropper post service packages: $175 for full shock services, $200 for full fork service and $100 for dropper post service, not including parts.

The program lets local retailers set their own labor fees for more routine suspension service and inspection packages.

Participating dealers will perform the routine services in-house, while the full-service options will be handled at one of six regional Trek service centers in the U.S.

A press release said participating Trek retailers are offering the service and pointed consumers to a dealer map. The map does not include a way to sort stores to see which offer the suspension service but a Trek spokesman said that was in the works.

NEW YORK (BRAIN) — The New York Fire Department issued vacate orders for two e-bike businesses in the city this week as the department steps up inspections following a rash of fatal fires triggered by lithium-ion batteries.

As of Thursday afternoon FDNY had made 38 inspections since last week of shops and other locations thought to be storing or charging batteries in unsafe ways. The department is encouraging citizens to report unsafe operations and in many cases is re-visiting locations that were previously inspected and cited for violations.

This week the department issued vacate orders for an operation at 91 Canal Street, in Brooklyn, and 5709 5th Avenue, in Chinatown. The department also issued multiple criminal and departmental summonses to the operators of each business. The department said the Canal Street businesses apparently acted as a charging station for customers.

Chief Laura Kavenagh said the Canal Street location had over 100 unsafe batteries; some of them caught fire as fire officials removed them from the building and put them in storage barrels outside. She said the building — which has now been completely vacated — had residents living above the store. “This location was essentially a ticking time bomb,” she said at a news conference.

She later issued a promise to city business operators: “If you are operating a business that is anyway improperly charging, storing or tampering with lithium-ion batteries, we will find you, we will fine you and we will shut you down.”

At the business on 5th Avenue, inspectors said they found an excessive number of batteries, some with illegal modifications. The business also had gas-powered mopeds with fuel inside.

Kavenagh said the department in many cases is finding safety violations even after the operators were previously cited. In some cases, she said, the operators appeared to be making efforts to hide the unsafe batteries and battery chargers from inspectors or other visitors.

FDNY photo from 5th Avenue inspection.

OLATHE, Kan. (BRAIN) — Garmin Ltd. first-quarter revenue decreased 2% year-over-year despite its Fitness segment revenue increasing 11%.

Overall company revenue was $1.15 billion for the period ending April 1, compared with $1.17 billion at the same time last year. Fitness revenue — including bike GPS head units and accessories, power meter pedals, and Tacx stationary trainers — was $245 million, compared with $221 million at the same time last year.

Fitness' growth was responsible for increased consumer demand for advanced wearables, said Garmin President and CEO Cliff Pemble. During the quarter, Garmin launched the Forerunner 265 and Forerunner 965, its first running smartwatches to offer sunlight-readable displays. The Forerunners combine advanced training metrics, recovery insights, and everyday health stats with the AMOLED display without sacrificing battery life, the company says.

Four of Garmin's five segments reported double-digit growth in the first quarter, with only the Outdoor segment revenue decreasing 27%.

Year-over-year net income for the first quarter decreased 4.7%, from $212 million to $202 million. Earnings per share decreased from $1.10 to $1.06 year-over-year.

Garmin's corporate headquarters is in Olathe. Its stock is traded on the NASDAQ under the GRMN symbol. Stock quotes are available at Marketwatch.com.

Rad Power unveils RadRunner 3 Plus e-cargo bike

Published March 20, 2023

SEATTLE (BRAIN) — Rad Power Bikes introduced the RadRunner 3 Plus, a new model that can be outfitted with several cargo-focused accessories that the brand says will make it easier to choose an e-bike over an automobile.

The RadRunner 3 Plus has a payload capacity of 350 pounds. It features a low-step frame, and a suspension fork. The frame also features an extended rear rack that creates more space for cargo or a passenger.

Other specs' include Tektro hydraulic disc brakes with levers that can be adjusted to fit a range of hand sizes, and a custom display system that makes operation simpler and more intuitive, according to Rad Power. It depicts real-time stats like power output, trip mileage, time and battery state of charge. The bike comes equipped with full fenders, headlight and rear taillight, and tires with a reflective strip.

This is the first offering from Rad that accommodates an optional dual battery capable range extender, making it possible for riders to reach over 100 miles on a single charge.

New cargo accessories include the Rad Trailer, with a Rad Trailer Pet Insert, and Rad Trailer Cargo Bin. The trailer is compatible with nearly every e-bike in the brand's lineup. The dog house-inspired insert fits into the trailer, clipping into place. It features vented panels for airflow and space to store treats, leashes, and other items. When hauling is the priority, the cargo bin can be added to the trailer to maximize carrying space.

Zwift lays off 15% of staff

Published March 7, 2023

LONG BEACH, Calif. (BRAIN) — 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.

A spokesperson said the layoffs affect workers across departments but are heaviest in HR and marketing, "Scaling back in some areas will allow us to invest more heavily in our product. The changes we have made will allow us to further increase the speed of development, adding greater value to our customers through new experiences and more engaging content," the company said. The spokesperson said Zwift will honor its agreements on marketing campaigns such as team, athlete and event sponsorships.

The company said, "All departing colleagues will receive a generous severance and career support to help them in their transition."

NY City Council passes lithium-ion battery safety package

Published March 2, 2023
If signed by Mayor Eric Adams, e-bikes would need to meet UL 2849 or similar certification; batteries would have to meet UL 2271.

NEW YORK (BRAIN) — The City Council on Thursday passed its lithium-ion battery safety legislative package in reaction to the growing number of fires, including prohibiting the sale of e-bikes, other powered mobility devices like e-scooters, and batteries that don't meet recognized certification like UL.

The legislation must be signed by Mayor Eric Adams to take effect.

If Adams signs it, to be legally sold, rented, or leased in New York City, an e-bike would need to be certified to UL 2849, which is a standard that covers an e-bike's full electrical system, including the battery, charger and motor. Likewise, a powered mobility device would need to meet UL 2272 and all lithium-ion batteries sold separately would be required to meet UL 2271. The FDNY has indicated it will consider approving other similar safety standards.

The city regulation goes into effect 180 days after it's signed. Failure to comply would expose sellers to a one-time civil penalty of zero dollars and then fines up to $1,000 per violation. Councilman Oswald Feliz sponsored the bill, which passed 8-0, with one council member absent.

"The toll that fires are increasingly having on families and communities is devastating and requires the urgent attention of all levels of government," said Speaker Adrienne Adams. "We must reduce the avoidable fire tragedies caused by the wide proliferation of uncertified lithium-ion batteries. These bills are an initial step to increase public education and reduce the growing commercial circulation of uncertified batteries that pose the greatest danger. There is continued work to do with all stakeholders, particularly our deliveristas, to support livelihoods and safety. I thank the bill sponsors for their leadership on this issue and all of my colleagues for their support."

The legislative package consists of four other bills, including:

  • Restricting the assembly and reconditioning of lithium-ion batteries with cells removed from used batteries, and their commercial sale.
  • Developing a public education campaign on fire risks of e-bikes and e-scooters that would require the FDNY to work in consultation with the Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP).
  • Requiring the FDNY to submit five reports (one per year for five years) related to fire risks associated with powered mobility devices. These reports would include data on fires caused by the devices, actions taken by FDNY to reduce the risks, and recommendations to further decrease risks.
  • Requiring the DCWP to develop and publish educational materials on e-bike safety risks and mitigation measures materials for delivery workers. It would also require third-party delivery apps, such as Seamless and UberEats, to distribute these materials to their delivery workers.

Last year, the FDNY investigated 220 fires caused by lithium-ion batteries, resulting in 147 injuries and six deaths. In 2023 so far, FDNY responded to an average of three lithium-ion battery fires a week. A 67-year-old woman who was critically injured when a lithium-ion battery started a fire in her Brooklyn apartment building on Feb. 14, died later.

"PeopleForBikes' supplier members already produce safe and tested electric bicycles and batteries," said Matt Moore, PeopleForBikes' general and policy counsel. "We support this groundbreaking legislation because it will ensure that all electric bicycles, scooters, and batteries available for sale in New York City have safe, tested batteries and that public authorities and consumers can easily determine that such testing has occurred."

PeopleForBikes said it has advocated for a provision in the bill to allow sellers the option to place the name of the accredited testing laboratory on the product or its packaging. More formal use of a proprietary laboratory trademark or logo are also available options.

PeopleForBikes also asked that testing information be able to be disclosed on an e-bike, the battery, the packaging, or on documentation provided at the point of sale. Originally, the bill specifically required testing information be placed on an e-bike's packaging, which is often removed and recycled before sale.

By calling for UL 2849 certification, PeopleForBikes said the law will reduce the number of untested, low-quality e-bikes and batteries available to the 65,000 delivery workers in New York City.

"While the bill alone will reduce the potential of lithium-ion battery fires, we know this will limit the availability of low-cost, albeit unsafe, mobility products for workers who depend on the ability to deliver goods quickly across the city's five boroughs," according to a PeopleForBikes release. "PeopleForBikes urges the City of New York to consider additional policy solutions, such as a trade-in incentive program offering delivery workers and others a financial incentive for trading in their untested batteries and e-bikes for certified alternatives."

Shimano forecasts 21% sales drop in 2023

Published February 17, 2023

TOYKO (BRAIN) — Shimano is forecasting a 20.5% drop in net sales for its fiscal 2023, citing global economic conditions and supply chain disruptions.

The company reported this week that its 2022 bicycle component sales were up 16.6% from the year prior.

In its fourth quarter and full-year financial results report, the company forecast that 2023 sales in its bike components business will produce 396 billion yen ($2.95 billion), down from the 517 million yen recorded in 2022, a 23% drop. Bike component sales make up about 79% of Shimano’s business with fishing tackle providing most of the rest. For 2023 Shimano forecast a 7% drop in its fishing business.

Company-wide, Shimano is forecasting a 20.5% drop in net sales, a 37.9% drop in operating income and a 32.3% drop in ordinary income.

In the bike business, Shimano forecast net sales of 200 billion yen in the first half (down 19.6% from 249 billion yen in the first half of 2022) and 196 billion yen in the second half next year (down 27% from 268 billion yen).

Shimano didn’t mention the industry’s inventory concerns in its forecast.

“There is concern that global supply chains will be disrupted by supply constraints and heightened political tension caused by geopolitical risks that have emerged, such as the prolonged situation in Ukraine, and that high inflation dragging on and tight monetary policies adopted globally may put downward pressure on economy,” the company said.

Regarding the U.S. market, the company said, “there is concern that high inflation and rises in policy rates may put downward pressure on economy.”

It concluded, “In these circumstances, the Company emphasizes not only striving to develop and manufacture ‘captivating products’ that bring sensations to many people as a ‘development-oriented digital manufacturing company’ of Japan origin, while closely monitoring trends in demand for bicycles and fishing tackle, but also moving forward step by step as a ‘value-creating company’ that continues to create a shared value between corporations and society. We will endeavor to further enhance management efficiency and strive for sustainable corporate growth by pursuing the creation of new cycling and fishing culture.”

Wayel Electric Bikes releases new foldable e-bike

Published February 7, 2023

BOLOGNA, Italy (BRAIN) — Italy's Wayel Electric Bikes released a new foldable e-bike, featuring a low-step frame with a 250-watt mid-motor and 614wh battery.

The HELLO! rolls on 20x4-inch wheels, is equipped with front and rear LED lights, and hydraulic disc brakes. When folded, the bike's size is reduced to 40x19x31 inches and weighs 59.5 pounds

It also has a seven-speed Shimano drivetrain with five assist levels, an integrated rear rack, a 3.5-inch LCD display, and is available in cobalt or blue.

Wayel began in 2007 and manufactured the first Italian e-bike a year later in cooperation with the University of Bologna. In 2011, Wayel introduced the E-bit, the first folding e-bike with UN38.3 battery certification, the prevailing United Nations lithium-ion battery independent testing standard for safe transportation.

BCOutdoors will fill a bike-shop void in Cherokee, NC

Published February 6, 2023
Moves into Motion Makers space after Specialized closes location.

CHEROKEE, N.C. (BRAIN) — Brett Hackshaw and Ben King always have wanted to test the "beer, gear, and bikes" business model, and after Specialized closed the Motion Makers Bicycle Shop location here in January, they soon will have that opportunity.

Hackshaw and King, co-owners of BCOutdoors in nearby Bryson City, have leased the next-door space formerly occupied by Motion Makers and will expand the location to include a full-service bike shop, tap room, and lounge, with regular food truck visits. Kent Cranford sold his three area locations — the others are in Asheville and Sylva — to Specialized last year. BCOutdoors officially took over the space Jan. 30.

"Because we intend to have alcohol — BCOutdoors motto is beer and gear — now it's beer, gear, and bikes," Hackshaw said. "I've always wanted it for this area. It's a small area, but we have lots of friends in the bike industry here, but we have never crossed over (into the bike business) because we didn't want to step on anybody's toes."

The Cherokee BCOutdoors space, which has been closed the past month to begin the expansion, is scheduled to open by mid-March. Hackshaw said he's applied for an alcohol license and is hiring additional staff for the bike shop. A full-time mechanic has been hired and two to three retail employees will need to be added at first.

Cranford, who is now retired, said, "I was excited that the BCO guys wanted to pick up the torch and continue to have bicycles in Cherokee. ... Having free rein of the whole Cherokee building will let them change it up as they feel suits them. They have great vision and will do a great job. They've already proven how good they are with outdoor gear, so bikes won't be any problem for them."

Cranford said the area is poised for growth.

"The Cherokee community is certainly a viable growing bicycle market with the trail infrastructure and future plans that the tribe has," he said. "With nearly 14 million annual visitors to the Smokies, there's an untapped and nearly unlimited amount of tourism to capture also."

The shop will carry Giant and Salsa bikes — focusing on mountain, gravel, road, and BMX — and Hackshaw said he's speaking with a couple of other brands. The shop also will have a full selection of BCOutdoors products, including footwear, hiking gear, tents, and sleeping bags. It will also stock skateboards and accessories.

"Just like everything in Cherokee, we want a partner that understands the area and understands the potential growth and wants to grow with me," Hackshaw said. "Trek, Specialized, and Cannondale are huge. I didn't want to go buy a whole bunch of bikes and then that's it. I'm not saying other brands would treat me that way, but I can tell you I'm very, very pleased with the Giant rep and the Giant family I've been in contact with so far."

BCOutdoors will have a bike rental fleet, including e-MTBs. The nearby Fire Mountain trails are a rarity in the area in that e-bikes are allowed because the national forest land is owned by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. "E-bikes are definitely a thing," Hackshaw said. "They probably will be the majority of our rental fleet."

While the industry is amid a turbulent time coming after the COVID boom, Hackshaw said he relishes the road ahead.

"One of the benefits we have now in the industry is we're green. I've never owned a bike shop. I know the last two years a lot of bike shops have gone from no inventory, to too much inventory, and I have the opportunity right now to really talk to my industry partners and say, 'What do I need, what are you seeing, and I don't have any inventory, so let's build it from scratch."

Specialized also recently closed one location of McLain's Cycle & Fitness in Michigan, which was a three-store chain when the company bought it in 2021.

WASHINGTON (BRAIN) — Linus Bikes is recalling some Cesta 500 and Ero 500 e-bikes because the fork can crack.

The company has had no reports of incidents or injuries as a result of the issue.

Consumers are being told to stop riding the bikes and contact Linus Bike to schedule a free fork replacement. Linus is contacting all known purchasers directly. Consumers can reach Linus at (800) 615-1534 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. PT Monday through Friday, or email [email protected] or visit www.linusbike.com/pages/cesta-500-ero-500.

The relevant bikes can be identified by a serial number under the bottom bracket.

The recalled bicycles have a serial number in one of the following series: LXD20100231 to LXD20100420; LXD20100686 to LXD20100830; or LXD20100956 to LXD20101060.

The bikes were sold at IBDs and Linusbike.com between January and October last year for between $2,000 and $2,500. They were made by Shenzhen Xidesheng Bicycle Co Ltd, of China and imported by Linus Bike Inc., of Venice, California

More information: CPSC recall notice | Linus recall page.

E-bike battery fire destroys inside of South Florida bike shop

Published April 19, 2022

CUTLER BAY, Fla. (BRAIN) — An e-bike battery charging unattended at a longtime South Florida bike shop caught fire and destroyed the interior and much of the inventory, but no injuries were reported.

Andante Bike Shop — located south of Miami at 20277 Old Cutler Rd. — was engulfed in flames shortly after closing on April 9. Mauricio Orozco, who has owned the shop for about 15 years, told BRAIN on Tuesday the fire started at about 6:15 p.m. after the shop closed at 5:30.

A spokesperson for the Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Department said Tuesday an incident report won't be available until Friday.

He said Andante Bike Shop carries a lot of e-bikes, but the bike in question, from a brand he did not identify, was new but about 2-years-old when the shops sold it in December. It was returned two days later because the battery wasn't charging. The shop learned a replacement battery was unavailable, so it sent the battery to a company in Nevada to be rebuilt. After receiving the battery back from Nevada, the shop left the battery charging overnight before the fire.

"The firefighters said all the cells in the battery blew up," Orozco said.

Orozco said the shop does not have fire insurance and has started a GoFundMe page that had raised $11,307 by Tuesday morning. He said he spoke with a fire investigator Monday who represents the insurance company that covers the small strip mall where the shop is located. Orozco said other businesses in the mall suffered smoke damage, and firefighters broke down the door of a neighboring business so they could enter the bike shop.

He said he's grateful for the outpouring of help from the community. "We've been around for a long time, and we've tried to help a lot of people," Orozco said.

Lithium-ion batteries, especially those spec'd on low-cost e-bikes, can present a fire hazard and should never be charged unattended, e-bike exerpts say. Human Powered Solutions has published the Safe Lithium-Ion Battery Storage and Charging Procedures for the eBike Shop.

RELATED: Guest Editorial - Battery fires don't have to happen.

Utah cyclist sues Rad Power Bikes over loose stem

Published April 19, 2022

SALT LAKE CITY (BRAIN) — A Utah woman is suing Rad Power Bikes because she said her bike arrived with a loose stem that caused a crash that injured her hands and wrist.

Paulina Greaves said she read assembly instructions and watched an instructional video before riding her new RadMini Electric Fat Bike. She said the instructions did not tell her to check the tightness of the stem. But she said on her first ride, on April 25, 2020, she tried to turn right when the stem slipped on the steerer tube, causing the crash.

About a month late she received an email from Rad Power notifying her that she may have purchased a bike with a loose stem and telling her to take the bike to a shop to have it tightened at Rad Power's expense.

Greaves said the crash cost her about $30,000 in medical expenses and $100,000 in lost wages, with future medical expenses expected to be nearly $40,000.

A Rad Power spokesman said the company was aware of the suit. "Although Ms. Greaves was involved in an accident while riding her bike, the cause of that accident remains in dispute. Rad Power Bikes, through legal counsel, is responding to the lawsuit. Through the litigation process, Rad Power Bikes will be investigating the Greaves' allegations that their bike malfunctioned. Rad Power Bikes is committed to the safety and reliability of the products it sells."

On April 13 the company filed an answer to Greave's complaint with the U.S. District Court for the Central Division of Utah, where the suit is filed. In the answer, Rad Power denied Greave's claims and asked the court to dismiss the case.

Denver will issue residents rebates for e-bike purchases beginning Friday

Published April 18, 2022

DENVER (BRAIN) — The city has established a series of rebates for the purchase of an e-bike or e-cargo bike from participating bike shops that goes into effect on Friday as part of its Climate Action Rebate program.

A $400 instant rebate will be available for an e-bike, and income-qualified residents might be eligible for a $1,200 rebate. E-cargo bike buyers will receive a $500 rebate. All Class 1, 2, and 3 e-bikes are eligible — but not e-MTBs — if purchased from one of the following bike shops: Hardt Family Cycleries, Elevation Cycles, Good Turn Bikes, Fatte-bikes, SloHi Bikes, ebikes USA, Pedego Denver, Epic Cycles Denver, HUB Bicycles, and REI.

Qualified residents must be at least 16 years old. Income-qualified residents must be enrolled in one of seven programs or "have a household income below 60% of the state of Colorado's median income, below 200% of the relevant federal poverty level, or below 80% of area median income."

The rebate is for one e-bike per person, and the incentive can't exceed the total purchase price, and there is no minimum or maximum purchase price.

E-cargo bikes must have an extended frame to carry additional people or cargo, and have three of the following:

  • A published total weight capacity (rider, bike, cargo) rating of at least 400 pounds.
  • An extended frame designed to carry additional containers, bags, passengers, or has included as a standard component a cargo rack.
  • Additional attachment points (front and back) to support the addition of racks, baskets, seats.
  • Marketed or advertised as a "cargo" or "utility bike" beyond what would be typical for an e-bike used for commuting.

Democrats in the Colorado legislature also have proposed spending $12 million on an e-bike subsidy in next year's state budget.

Pedego Stretch e-cargo bike.

Injured rider sues Costco and e-bike brand over right-front brake lever setup

Published March 25, 2022
The Arizona woman lost an eye and had other injuries she blames on an illegal brake-lever setup.

By Dan Roe

SAN DIEGO (BRAIN) — An Arizona woman is suing San Diego e-bike company Phantom Bikes and Costco Wholesale for $6 million. Carol Penkert's suit claims her bike came set up so the right brake lever operated the front brake, which caused her to flip over the handlebar and sustain serious injuries.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission mandates that bikes sold in the U.S. be set up so that the right brake lever activates the rear brake.

Phantom Bikes' marketing materials show The right-side front brake lever appears to be a design choice that affects an unknown number of Phantom Bikes Swirl step-through e-bikes, a BRAIN review of the company's marketing materials has found.

Reached by email, Phantom Bikes president and CEO David Toma did not reply to multiple requests for comment after initially acknowledging the existence of the November lawsuit. Phantom's attorney, Kyle Carroll of the Newport Beach office of Bremer Whyte Brown & O'Meara, said he couldn't provide meaningful information at this point in the firm's investigation of the complaint.

Costco, also named as a defendant in the lawsuit for allegedly having sold the bike fully assembled without verifying its safety, filed a cross complaint against Phantom Bikes to indemnify itself from a potential judgment. Costco representative Muriel Cooper said the wholesaler's management would decline to comment on the suit. In court documents, Costco attorneys deflected blame to Penkert, claiming she was negligent in the face of "open and obvious" perils.

One month after the COVID-19 pandemic swept through the country, Penkert embarked on her first significant ride of her Phantom Bikes Swirl. She bought the bike in February 2020 online and fully assembled through Costco but hadn't ridden it past her driveway until April 15, her attorney told BRAIN. When she came upon a speed bump, Penkert instinctively grabbed the right-hand brake lever to slow down, thinking it would actuate the rear brake. Instead, the front brake locked up, throwing her over the handlebar in a crash that resulted in multiple facial fractures and the loss of her right eye.

Penkert's attorney, Nick Verderame of the Phoenix personal injury law firm Plattner Verderame, said the right-hand positioning of the Swirl's front brake violates federal law governing bicycle design. The law states a bicycle's front brake must be actuated by a control on the left side of the handlebar. Reversals are only allowed for custom bikes.

Penkert discovered the cause of her crash when a mechanic identified the right-hand front brake lever while servicing the damaged e-bike.

"They did not put a warning on the box. They didn't put a warning on the bike. They didn't put a warning on the manual. The only way anyone could ever find out about this would be to happen to stumble upon their YouTube page," Verderame said.

In a November 2018 YouTube video uploaded by Phantom Bikes, and now removed, a company representative identified the right-hand brake lever on the Swirl as the front brake. Instagram posts and other YouTube videos posted by the company between 2017 and 2020 show right-rear levers.

The lawsuit also includes the claim that even if Penkert had grabbed both cable-actuated disc brakes with equal pressure, the bike's improperly aligned rear brake caliper would have shifted the vast majority of braking duties to the front. A customer review of the Swirl on Costco's website also complained of a misaligned rear brake that couldn't be fixed at an e-bike repair shop.

Verderame said the bike required finishing touches when it arrived at Penkert's home in Scottsdale, including the installation of a front basket, but otherwise came fully assembled. In Costco's response to Penkert's complaint, the wholesaler also alleged Penkert had modified or misused the bike.

The Swirl is available for sale on Phantom-Bikes.com for $2,295. Costco still lists the bike for sale on its website. Walmart appears to have sold the bike as well, although it's currently out of stock. The number of Swirls sold in the U.S. is unknown, although Toma said in an August 2020 interview with his vendor platform, C2FO, that Costco had ordered $400,000 worth of Phantom e-bikes in November 2019. The Swirl is currently the only Phantom Bikes e-bike available for sale on Costco's website.

Phantom Bikes started out in 2009 in the shed of Del Mar, California, resident John King, according to a 2017 interview King gave to the San Diego Voyager. At the time, King was building gas-powered bicycles that looked more like motorcycles — Jay Leno's Garage even featured an early Phantom bike. Toma, a former Hollywood producer, came into the company in the mid-2010s and began pushing it in the direction of e-bikes. He bought the company from King in April 2019 and began selling e-bikes to Costco that summer. San Diego county court documents indicate King sued Toma for breach of contract in March 2020; the case was dismissed last April.

Today, Phantom Bikes sells the gamut of popular e-bike styles, including a beach cruiser, a fat-tire mountain bike, a hardtail mountain bike, a folding bike, and the motorcycle-styled Phantom 1910. The Phantom Vision, a $2,800 beach cruiser-looking e-bike, is also shown on the company's website with a front brake actuated by the right-hand lever. The orientation of the brakes on the company's other models is unclear from photos.

Tracing the 2020 bike boom, Phantom Bikes sales increased 500% between January and April 2020, Toma said in the interview with C2FO.

Verderame said Penkert's helmet broke in the crash that fractured her orbit, her jaw, and her nasal bones. With her right glass eye, she's relearning daily tasks due to her altered depth perception. The attorney said he hopes to settle the case quickly but is prepared for drawn-out litigation.

In December 2020, a group of New Yorkers sued Lyft — the owner of Citi Bike — after they claimed they were injured in falls caused by what they felt was excessive front braking force generated by the bike-share bikes' Shimano brakes. (Shimano was also named in the lawsuits.) Lyft and Shimano subsequently hired elite New York law firms Crowell & Moring and Eckert Seams Cherin & Mellott to defend against the complaints. The following summer, all of the riders dropped their suits.

Screen shot from a 2018 Phantom Bikes Youtube video, since removed.

Site of the Wright brothers’ first bike shop could be saved

Published February 22, 2022

A version of this article ran in the February 2022 issue of BRAIN. Subscribe to the magazine.

By Amelia Arvesen

DAYTON, Ohio (BRAIN) — When Matthew Tepper enters Dayton’s West Third Street Historic District, he looks for a two-story brick building as a waypoint. If it’s demolished, he says, its absence would completely alter the neighborhood’s cornerstone and historical context.

“It adds to the neighborhood’s character,” said Tepper, president of the nonprofit, volunteer-run Bicycles For All and a trustee for Preservation Dayton, Inc. “To purposely let something go and demolish it always needs to be a big decision.”

The building at 1005 West Third Street is of historic cycling significance because Wilber and Orville Wright brothers ran their first bike shop at the site for six months in 1892. According to the Dayton Aviation Heritage Historical Park, however, “Little, if any, of the structure (the bike shop) occupied is extant.”

However, other historians say the current building, called the Gem City Ice Cream Building, was built around the building that housed the shop. The building remains a stop on a guided historical tour of the district and it was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1988. It also is one of Preservations Dayton’s “Top Ten Most Endangered Properties” in the city.

In November, Dayton’s zoning appeals board approved the city’s request for demolition of the building. But on Jan. 13, the city said it released a request for proposal, or RFQ, to attract a developer to either rehabilitate the building or raze it for new construction. Veronica Morris, the site’s project manager, said the city has owned the property since 2005 and it has been in disrepair since 1993. Plywood covers the windows. Caution tape lines the perimeter.

“The city wants to encourage historic preservation,” Morris said. “However, as keepers of the public trust, we have to make sure our residents can walk down the street and don’t have to deal with nuisance properties, and that we can bring some type of civic and community pride to our neighborhoods.”

Much of the Wright brothers’ history is preserved locally by the Wright Family Foundation, Wright Brothers National Museum, and Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park, which is under the jurisdiction of the National Park Service.

Historical Park Superintendent Kendell Thompson, in a letter to the city’s landmark commission, said the site was retrofitted in 1917, around the time it became the Gem City Ice Cream Building. Regardless, Thompson said it still “would have been a familiar part of the landscape in which Orville and Wilbur Wright continued to live, and travel to work, in the West 3rd Street area for the following five decades, respectively.”The building in 2021. Photo by Alex Jackson/instagram.com/dayton_architecture, used by permission.

Thompson, along with Monica Snow, president of Preservation Dayton, Inc., is requesting that the façade be saved in any future developer’s proposal. Snow added that the building could also qualify for tax credits, a major financial incentive for creative and successful developers. The city is slated to select a project from the submitted RFQs at the end of February.

“The whole idea of having a national, historic park is to tell the whole story of the culture and the economy and heritage of the people who lived there,” Snow said.

For Chris Tegtmeyer, general manager at Dayton’s Kettering Bike Shop, the building as it stands is an eyesore when he rides by, and he worries about bricks falling from above.

“I’m absolutely for getting rid of a lot of these dilapidated buildings, especially if it’s a hazard to citizens, to try to clean the lands and potentially make access for new development,” he said. But, he added that he might feel differently if he knew more about the building’s history.

Dayton, rich in history from the Wrights’ time period, is home to other notable buildings that have been fiercely protected by locals. The Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park manages five structures within the West Third Street Historic District, including the Setzer Building owned by Aviation Trail Inc. Morris said the Setzer is the best example of a building that was modernized, but with the historic façade kept intact at preservationists’ urging.

Also part of the park is The Wright Cycle Company Building, a Victorian commercial shop built in 1886 at 22 South Williams Street. It’s where the brothers operated their printing and bicycle sales, repair, and manufacturing businesses from 1895 to 1897. And building upon their mechanical skills, it’s also where they began their aviation experiments.

That property and 1005 West Third Street are the last two remaining Dayton buildings related to the brothers’ bicycle business, according to Preservation Dayton.

The building during its Gem City Ice Cream era.

Washington state's King County decriminalizes helmet use

Published February 18, 2022

SEATTLE (BRAIN) — The King County Board of Heath repealed a 29-year-old mandatory bike helmet law Thursday, citing evidence of racial and anti-homeless bias in its enforcement.

Seattle has enforced the law since 2003, and the Cascade Bicycle Club originally advocated for the law until research put forth by Central Seattle Greenways' Ethan Campbell changed the organization's position. Cascade testified in favor of the repeal as part of a coalition of community organizations, including Real Change and Central Seattle Greenways.

Campbell's data showed Seattle's Black cyclists were ticketed at a rate nearly four times greater than white cyclists. News outlet Crosscut revealed that nearly half of Seattle's helmet tickets went to homeless people.

According to the Cascade Bicycle Club — which urges all cyclists who can afford a helmet to wear one and offers free and low-cost helmets to the public — no conclusive data exists showing that bicycling is safer in cities with helmet laws. Studies show that helmet use can be high even in cities without helmet laws. In Portland, for example, 81% use helmets even though there is no all-ages law, according to the Portland Bureau of Transportation.

"Cascade is 100% pro-helmet, but the data is clear; this law was harming vulnerable populations," said Lee Lambert, executive director of Cascade Bicycle Club and its sister organization Washington Bikes. "A majority of riders in King County already wear helmets, but it's people who can't afford one that are being targeted for enforcement, and that's not just or right."

Cascade requires helmets on its group rides, provides them free of charge to kids in its programs, and sells helmets for $10 to anyone.

"Safety is the goal," said Vicky Clarke, Cascade and Washington Bikes policy director. "Government can and should do more to ensure universal access to helmets, but the way we build and rebuild our streets is far more important to the safety of people bicycling than helmet use.

"We call on public officials who care about preventing death and injury to people biking and walking to reduce street speeds, build separated bike infrastructure, and fund connected trails."

Cascade Bicycle Club addressed the repeal of the law in this blog post.

Fox and SRAM end 6-year legal battle over chainring and axle patents

Published January 3, 2022

DENVER (BRAIN) — Maybe 2022 will begin an era of peace, love and understanding in the bike industry, as Fox Factory and SRAM are starting the new year with a clean slate after agreeing to settle legal disputes dating to 2015.

Both sides filed documents with courts in Colorado and Illinois last Thursday saying they were dismissing claims and counterclaims, with each side to bear their own costs and attorneys fees.

According to a Fox filing with the SEC, Fox and SRAM agreed to dismiss their claims with no admission of liability by either. SRAM is granting Fox a non-exclusive license to make and sell products using SRAM's chainring-related patents in exchange for royalty rates. Fox is granting SRAM a non-exclusive royalty-free license to make and use products and services covered by Fox's axle patents.

In late 2015 SRAM sued RaceFace (which Fox had acquired in 2014) for infringing on two of its chainring patents. Several other brands offering similar chainrings had agreed to license the X-Sync technology from SRAM, but RaceFace took it to court and eventually challenged the patents' validity. In March 2021, a U.S. Patent and Trademark Office board sided with Fox on the chainring patent challenge, which may have encouraged settlement talks.

Separately, in 2016 Fox filed suit in California against SRAM, which owns RockShox, for infringing on several Fox-owned suspension and axle-related patents. That case was later moved to Colorado.

The litigation has cost both companies millions in legal fees. In 2020, Fox spent $1.96 million in patent-related litigation, down from $4.4 million in 2019 and $2.1 million in 2018.

In the first nine months of Fox's 2021 fiscal year, the company spent $900,000 on litigation, according to its third quarter report released in November.

Fox and SRAM are rivals for OE business on several fronts: most notably in suspension and dropper posts, where Fox and SRAM's RockShox are competitors, but also in road and mountain bike cockpit components and cranks (where Fox's Easton and RaceFace brands compete with SRAM's Zipp, Service Course, and Truvativ brands) and wheels (where Easton and Race Face compete with Zipp and SRAM).

Neither side had any comment on the settlement.

Related stories:

Bianchi plans carbon frame factory and headquarters in Italy

Published December 9, 2021
Company says the new factory will be able to turn out 1,000 frames a day.

TREVIGLIO, Italy (BRAIN) — Bianchi has unveiled plans to build a new headquarters building and factory here. The 30,000 square meter (325,000 square foot) facility will have about 17,000 square meters devoted to bike production. Production is expected to begin in 2023 full capacity will be 1,000 frames per day.

Bianchi CEO Fabrizio Scalzotto went over the plans Thursday at the company's current headquarters in Via delle Battaglie – which has been home to the company for over 50 years.

The redevelopment project will stay within the Municipality of Treviglio and is intended to revitalize an historic industrial area. "Key to Bianchi's vision and strategy is the beginning of a re-shoring process, bringing back to Italy the technical and production capacities that had been outsourced outside of Europe in the previous decades," Scalzotto said.

Salvatore Grimaldi, the president and owner of Bianchi, said, "Growing and developing companies is the challenge that fascinates me more than any other, and today we are embracing a new one: creating at Bianchi one of the most advanced bicycle manufacturing plants in the world/

At full capacity, the new site will employ more than 250 people including clerks, technical resources and production personnel.

The new Bianchi venue also will host a Bianchi Museum. The overall investment in the project is more than 40 million euros ($45 million). Work began last month.

SVETA NEDELJA, Croatia (BRAIN) — Porsche will acquire a majority interest in the Greyp e-bike brand. The sports car manufacturer's venture capital segment, Porsche Ventures, has held about a 10% stake in Greyp since 2018.

Mate Rimac and other Greyp founders will retain minority shares in the company, and the transaction will be completed on Dec. 18.

Greyp opened its U.S. operations in San Pedro, California, last year. Based in Stuttgart, Germany, Porsche acquired the initial stake at the same time as its investment in Rimac Automobili.

"Greyp will have a very strong and growing presence in Croatia," Rimac said. "We want to do big things, otherwise, Porsche and us would not be doing this. This will secure a great future for Greyp employees and bring tremendous value for Croatia as another proof of being an electric vehicle R&D hotspot."

Porsche's investment will further its e-mobility advancement, the company said.

"Porsche is a pioneer of sustainable mobility and is consistently driving forward its e-mobility strategy," said Lutz Meschke, deputy chairman of the Porsche AG Executive Board. "Our activities in the e-bike sector underline our consistent approach. Porsche has been a leading provider of plug-in hybrids for years."

In 2019, the company launched its first all-electric vehicle — the Taycan — and last year, one in three of the vehicles was electric powered. "Our ambitious goal is to have a CO2-neutral balance sheet across the entire value chain by 2030," Meschke said.

Porsche said it will invest 15 billion euro ($17 billion) in new technology in the next five years, with 6.5 billion euro ($7.3 billion) for the development of electric vehicles.

MORGAN HILL, Calif. (BRAIN) — Specialized Bicycle Components announced Monday it has acquired the BikeSource retail chain, which has stores in Colorado, Ohio, and North Carolina.

The company said the stores will retain the BikeSource name and current employees. Founder Marc Eisenberg said he will continue with the company.

Eisenberg, who founded the first BikeSource in 1985 in Columbus, Ohio, said as the industry emerges from the pandemic-driven sales surge, he could see the writing on the wall.

"While bicycle retail, like all other retail, has been steadily evolving, COVID really accelerated things," he said. "Ultimately, I see the current bicycle retail model as one that has been failing for quite some time, but within a disciplined business, was sustainable. After getting over the euphoria of success we had during the pandemic, I realized two things: First was that we were at the top of our game and that is always the best time to get out. Secondly, I realized that the model is broken and that the 'new normal' would be far more challenging if not perilous. We need to have better resources at all levels which are not affordable for small independent operators."

BikeSource has had a long relationship with Specialized and Eisenberg said the decision to sell to the company was easy.

"I have had other opportunities to sell the company to other bike chains or to the rich hobbyists wanting a slice of the bike shop dream, but none made sense for me, my employees, or my customers. I see where the industry is going and Specialized is going to have a big dog in the fight," he said.

Eisenberg expanded from the Ohio location to add stores in the Denver, Charlotte, and Kansas City area. He sold two locations near Kansas City to Erik's Bike Shop in 2016. Currently BikeSource has four locations in the Denver area, one store in Columbus and one in Charlotte.

"I also see 'scaling' as the key to success in the bicycle business," he said. "We need to have better resources at all levels which are not affordable for small independent operators."

Specialized has added several new locations recently, while Trek continues to buy up stores at an even faster rate. Last month, for example, Trek acquired the BikeBarn chain, with eight locations in the Houston, Texas, area. Over the summer Trek also acquired Big Ring Cycles in Golden, Colorado, and Golden Bear Bikes in Broomfield, Colorado.

Pon Holdings, the parent of Cervélo, Santa Cruz, and other bike brands, also recently acquired the Mike's Bikes chain in California's Bay Area.

Shimano warns that 'clearance' web store is fake

Published October 22, 2021

OSAKA, Japan (BRAIN) — Shimano says a website that appears to be offering clearance Shimano bike and fishing gearing is not legitimate.

The company said consumers should beware of shimano-clearance (dot) store.

"The website is using the Shimano logo, product pictures and other content without our authorization.

"At present, we are petitioning to have the website shut down.

"Shimano is not responsible or liable for any trouble that arises from the use of a fake website.

"We ask that customers take ample care."

The site's "About Us" page gives little hint about its operators. "shimano-clearance.store is an eCommerce company that sells items—but we’re much more than just a website. We’re a team of great people who win and lose together (we prefer winning!)," the page reads.

Patent Watch: Trek, Canyon and others patent bike boxes for the D2C market

Published October 14, 2021

A version of this article ran in the Oct. 1 issue of Bicycle Retailer and Industry News.

By Alan Coté

Bike boxes might only be outdone by empty coffee cups as the most common clutter in the work areas of shops. While the enormous cartons don’t get much attention — particularly compared to what’s inside them — bike boxes and related packaging use significant amounts of cardboard and other materials. Recently, there’s been consideration of minimizing and optimizing packing materials used on shipping new bikes from brands Trek and VAAST. On a different front, manufacturers are re-thinking box designs to make the packaging easier for consumers to unpack and assemble a new bicycle.

A box designed for consumers is precisely what Trek has targeted in a recent patent application, Bicycle Packaging System. The Detailed Description section of the patent filing is surprisingly clear (unlike the broad language common in patent descriptions) about this: “Described herein are methods and systems for packaging bicycles that are to be directly delivered to end users. The proposed packaging systems are designed to be user friendly, and do not require the user to lift the bicycle frame or other bicycle components out the top of the box.”Trek's patented box includes a fold-down to protect the floor from bike grease.

A box that opens on the side, not at the top, is the difference that jumps out most between Trek’s box design and a conventional bike box, as seen in the above drawing from the patent application. In addition to eliminating the awkward lift-it-out-of-the-box maneuver that every shop mechanic knows so well, Trek touts another advantage: “The folded down front of the packaging system also acts as a work surface that provides the user with an area to assemble the bicycle, while protecting the floor from scratches, grease, etc.”

The design may include a visual clue like footprints (indicia 170 in the patent drawing), to further drive the idea home to consumers. Such a built-in work surface may serve consumers well – but not shops. While new a new bike typically goes straight from box to repair stand in a shop, space constraints in assembly areas could make side opening boxes cumbersome for mechanics. That means Trek would need to warehouse boxed bikes in two categories: those going to shops, and those shipping consumer-direct.

Perhaps you’re wondering how it’s possible to patent a side-opening box. The broad idea of a side-opening box has been done before, and is therefore “prior art” in patent terms. It’s the claims of a patent that define the intellectual property protected – and often very particular details must be included in patent claims to work around prior art. In Trek’s case, including a tire wedge with a slot within the rear wheel support, in combination with other box features, seems to be key to patentability (Note: at press time, the patent application had not received an Allowance Notice, so this is speculative based on patent documents examined).

Canyon's patent includes an integrated inseam measurement feature.

Consumer-direct brand Canyon has filed numerous patent applications for bike boxes, both in the U.S. and Europe. A common element to some of Canyon’s patent filings is the inclusion of particular “fixing” or “stabilizing” elements within the box — these for securing the rear wheel, stem (attached to the fork, rather than removed or affixed to the handlebars), and more. One aspect claimed is for a small parts container as part of the stabilizing elements for the rear wheel. These patent claims seem equally as applicable to cartons for shop-bound bicycles as for consumer-direct bikes.

In other patent applications, Canyon shows a box that opens at its end, with the bicycle mounted to a base element that can be slid out of the box — like Trek, seeking to avoid the lift-out-the-top operation. As anyone who’s ever unpacked a bike knows, such a lift may even require two people: one to raise the bike, another to hold the box down – especially for a first-timer. This becomes more relevant with ebikes, which in most cases are substantially heavier than acoustic bikes.

Canyon’s patent application titled Bicycle Transport Container and Inside-Leg Measurement System brings a new use to the common carton. The design includes an inseam measuring system that’s printed on to cardboard, and can be included as part of the base element, or elsewhere. Also included are a slot and a projection element. The projection element is placed in the slot, and the rider straddles it to measure inseam. Corresponding measurements are marked on the seatpost.

Giant also received a patent in 2018 for a packaging structure that allowed a bike to "be directly exhibited through the exhibition opening and be sold to eliminate conventional complications of box opening and assembly for exhibition and post-exhibition re-boxing. The bicycle frame is placed in the exhibition box for carrying outdoors to achieve objects of recycling and reducing costs and burden on the environment." The Giant patent appears to be more concerned with minimizing waste than consumer bike assembly, although it does claim to make it easier to get the bike out of the box, which is a feature anyone can appreciate.Giant's 2018 patent emphasizes ease of re-use and recycling.

A brief patent search shows numerous patent filings over the last 20 years for reusable travel-style bike cases and bags, but very little in the area of bike cartons for OE shipping purposes. The common bike box would seem to leave little room for patentable inventing, and the cost of obtaining a patent is in the low five figures at a minimum. But Trek and Canyon have decided the juice is worth the squeeze in pursuing intellectual property for bike packaging.

Editor's note: On Oct. 11, the consumer site WheelBased.com published an article about Trek's patent application. Trek Bicycle responded to that article on WheelBased's Instagram account, saying, "Here's some background information that might be helpful. This is a bike box that we have been shipping in China for around three years. We use this box in China so we’re able to provide access to Trek products across a huge region with a smaller retail presence for a market with 1.4 billion people. It’s helped us get our products to remote areas where in some places there is little to no bicycle retail. We’re not currently planning on expanding its use beyond China."

Alan Coté is a Registered Patent Agent and principal of Green Mountain Innovations LLC. He’s a past contributing writer to Bicycling, Outside, and other magazines, and is a former elite-level racer. He also serves as an expert witness in bicycle-related legal cases. Nothing in this article should be considered legal advice.

An image from Trek's patent application.

Handmade bike show returns in September 2022, in Denver

Published September 30, 2021

(BRAIN) —The North American Handmade Bicycle Show will return from its pandemic hiatus next September. The event will be held at the National Western Complex in Denver, Colorado. show founder Don Walker announced Thursday.

In a Facebook video (below) Walker said the event will honor registrations made for the canceled 2020 event, which had been planned for Dallas, Texas.

"If you signed up for Dallas in 2020 your registration will moved forward and you are covered for the 2022 show," he said. 

Walker said more details will be released soon. The show will be Sept. 23-25.  

Denver last hosted NAHBS in February, 2013. That year the event was held at Denver's Colorado Convention Center.

The National Western Complex is traditionally the venue for the VeloSwap event.

BANG PU, Thailand (BRAIN) — The Vittoria Group will invest $20 million into building the world's first carbon-neutral bicycle tire facility that will open at the end of next year.

Vittoria's tire production capacity will double at the Lion Tyres Thailand factory in the Bang Pu industrial district, which will employ 400 additional workers. The Lion Tyres Thailand factory premises also will grow to 560,000 square feet and be near the current headquarters. The facility is designed with sustainability in mind with solar panels, intelligent climate control, and increased use of biodegradable and recycled materials.

"We are very pleased to further invest in Thailand, the world's premium place for development and production of high-quality bicycle tyres," said Vittoria Group President and CEO Stijn Vriends. "The new factory is an important milestone in our journey toward sustainable and carbon-neutral manufacturing."

The 172,000-square-foot facility will feature product testing and research capabilities. Ground was broken Thursday.

"The new Lion Tyres Thailand greenfield factory is a much-needed investment to match the bicycle industry demand for speed of supply and high-quality products," said Vittoria Group Chief Operations Officer Massimo Zanco.

The relationship between Vittoria Group and Thailand began in 1988 with the opening of the first factory in Bangkok. The current operations are spread over five buildings in Bangkok and Rayong, including Vittoria's graphene compound research and production facility and the 4C technology that merges four compounds in a single bicycle tire tread.

Vittoria sells through subsidiaries in Asia, Europe, and North America. It develops tires for all performance levels in road, off-road, and urban use. Vittoria Group is owned by its managers and the investment fund Wise Equity.

TerraTrike introduces E.V.O. e-assist trike

Published September 22, 2021

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (BRAIN) — TerraTrike's newest e-assist trike features a high-torque Bosch Cruise motor, which produces nearly 50% more torque than the brand's previous e-trikes.

The E.V.O. also features a full-color Kiox display, Bosch PowerPack 400Wh battery, and a 10-speed drivetrain.

The chromoly frame has been upgraded with the same one used with TerraTrike's high-end touring model, the Gran Tourismo. It also integrates with TerraTrike's Storage Solutions line of proprietary, trike-specific racks, bags and panniers.

The E.V.O. comes standard with 24-inch wheels and with Rapid Axles, similar to the thru-axles, allowing for easy removal of the front wheels, while increasing strength and rigidity for more responsive steering and braking.

For dealer inquiries, contact Steve Tanaka at [email protected]. For more info, go to terratrike.com. To connect with a community of trikers, join the TerraTrike Isolation Riders club on Strava.

NEW YORK (BRAIN) — Peloton Interactive's fourth-quarter revenue grew 54% over last year's final quarter, to $937 million, as the company's fiscal year revenues topped $4 billion for the first time.

However, although the quarterly sales total was ahead of estimates, the company lost $313 million in the quarter and the growth rate declined from last year's growth of 172%.

Last week Peloton announced a 20% price cut to its original Peloton Bike. The Peloton Bike now retails for $1,495 or $39 a month with a financing plan.

The company's subscriptions rose 114% year over year to 2.33 million. Average monthly workouts per user declined from 24.7 last year to 19.9 this year, which Peloton said it expected.

The company said improved weather over last year, as well as increased consumer mobility, contributed to the numbers. The company provided guidance for full-year fiscal 2022 revenue of $5.4 billion.

The quarterly loss resulted from Peloton's recent voluntary recall of its treadmills and higher supply-chain and logistics expenses.

Fox Factory: We're 8-10 months from fulfilling current orders

Published August 9, 2021
The company's bicycle-product division just recorded its sixth consecutive record sales quarter.

SCOTTS VALLEY, Calif. (BRAIN) — Fox Factory's sales in its Speciality Sports Group, its bicycle-product division, were up 64% in the second fiscal quarter and 73% for the first half, compared to the same periods last year.

Bike-related sales, through the Fox, Marzocchi, Easton and RaceFace brands, totaled $138.7 million for the quarter and $257.2 million for the half.

The company said it was seeing strong demand especially in the OE channels for its bike products. The second quarter was the 6th quarter in a row to hit record sales in the SSG.

On an investor call, CEO Mike Dennison said that at the current pace, it will take 8-10 months for Fox to fulfill pre-orders for bicycle products and another 12-18 months to replenish depleted inventory channels at the distributor and retailer level.

Australian distributor acquisition

On May 21, Fox's Australian subsidiary paid $486,000 for Sola Sport Pty Ltd., which had been the distributor of Fox's bicycle suspension in Australia since 2008 and also distributed Marzocchi, RaceFace and Easton Cycling products.

Dennison told analysts on an investor call that the purchase was "more strategic than financial."

For the first time, Fox Factory, company-wide, crossed the $1 billion sales threshold on a trailing 12-months basis.

He said Sola, based in Sydney, "gives us a foothold in Australia, which we believe is an important market for Fox, in both for SSG and PVG (Powered Vehicle Group) going forward."

Company-wide sales

In the first half, the SSG provided 42% of the company's sales, with PVG providing the remainder.

Company-wide, Fox Factory first-half sales were $609.3 million, an increase of 65.8% over the first half of 2020.

For the first time, Fox Factory, company-wide, crossed the $1 billion sales threshold on a trailing 12-months basis.

Company-wide gross margin increased 110 basis points to 33.9%, compared to 32.8% in the same period last fiscal year. Net income was $44.3 million, or $1.05 of earnings per diluted share.

E-SUV sales stand out

Dennison told analysts that he was bullish on what he called the market for "E-SUVs", which he described as "more burly e-bikes that can carry kids and groceries and surfboards and everything else.

"That category has been on fire and it continues to be on fire .... people are thinking about other ways to be mobile ... they are thinking about electric cars for sure, but also thinking about electric bikes."

A slide from Fox's Q2 investor presentation.

Continental reissues cream sidewall on Grand Prix 5000

Published August 3, 2021

KORBACH, Germany (BRAIN) — Continental announced the return of the cream sidewall Grand Prix 5000 road tire to celebrate the Tour de France last month. It joins the transparent sidewall and traditional black tires to form a new color range.

Initially available as a special edition for the Tour de France 2020, Continental has responded to customer demand for the cream wall color by making it a permanent feature in the expanding Grand Prix 5000 lineup.

The new range is designed to offer more aesthetic choice for road riders and racers.

The Grand Prix 5000 line features Active Comfort Technology to reduce vibration, Vectran Breaker for puncture protection, and LazerGrip for cornering. Continental's Black Chili compound balances grip, mileage, and low-rolling resistance.

Cream sidewall
Weight — 255g/265g
Dimensions — 25-622/28-622

Transparent sidewall
Weight — 230g/245g
Dimensions — 25-622/28-622

Weight — From 205g
Dimensions — From 25-584 to 32-622

Pricing and availability
Cream sidewall, black, and transparent sidewall Grand Prix 5000 tires are available for €64.90 ($77) per tire worldwide.

Ohio's Recumbent Cycle-Con postponed over COVID concerns

Published July 30, 2021

DAYTON, Ohio (BRAIN) — Organizers of the 2021 Recumbent Cycle-Con have postponed the event, which had been scheduled for Oct. 8-10, because of COVID-19 concerns. The 2020 event was also postponed.

"With the current surge in COVID cases, and so many unknowns about what may happen in the next two months, postponing seems like the most responsible thing to do at this point in time," organizers said in a statement Friday.

The Recumbent Cycle-Con has been rescheduled for Oct. 7-9, 2002, at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds in Dayton. The Recumbent Cycle-Con is part of Cycle-Con Weekend, which includes the Adaptive Cycling Expo, Bicycle Tour & Travel Expo, and the Electric Cycle-Con.

More information at www.recumbentcyclecon.com.

Topics associated with this article: Coronavirus

Specialized recalls about 2,500 e-bike battery packs

Published July 30, 2021

WASHINGTON (BRAIN) — Specialized Bicycle Components is recalling about 2,500 first-generation Turbo Levo and Kenevo electric mountain bike battery packs. Water can penetrate the seal around the LED control pad on the bicycle's lithium-ion battery pack and cause the battery to short circuit, posing fire and burn hazards.

Consumers can contact Specialized at 800-772-4423 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. MT Monday through Friday, email [email protected], or go online at www.specialized.com and click on "Safety Notices" or contact an authorized Specialized retailer for more information.

The recall involves Specialized first-generation 2016-2018 model year Turbo Levo FSR, 2018-2021 model year Turbo Levo HT, and 2018-2019 model year Turbo Kenevo FSR electric mountain bikes with Specialized M1 battery packs that came as original equipment on the bikes, or Specialized M1 battery packs that were sold as aftermarket equipment for use with the bikes.

Turbo Levo, Turbo Levo HT, or Turbo Kenevo FSR are printed on the bicycle's top tube. The following Manufacturer Part Numbers (P/N) and Made Dates are printed on a label on the recalled batteries. The battery pack must be removed from the bicycle using a 6mm hex key in order to read the label. Visit www.specialized.com/safety-notices for more information on how to remove the battery pack and determine if it is included in this recall.

Manufacture P/N Made Date
B9JE2045F K7 L7 A8 B8 C8 D8 E8 F8 G8 H8 I8 J8 K8 L8 A9 B9 C9
B9JE2056F K7 L7 A8 B8 C8 D8 E8 F8 G8 H8 I8 J8 K8 L8 A9 B9 C9
B9JE2065F K7 L7 A8 B8 C8 D8 E8 F8 G8 H8 I8 J8 K8 L8 A9 B9 C9
B9JE2076F K7 L7 A8 B8 C8 D8 E8 F8 G8 H8 I8 J8 K8 L8 A9 B9 C9
B9JE2098F K7 L7 A8 B8 C8 D8 E8 F8 G8 H8 I8 J8 K8 L8 A9 B9 C9

Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled electric mountain bikes and contact Specialized Bicycle for a free repair. Specialized is contacting purchasers directly about the recall. Consumers should not charge the recalled battery pack or expose it to wet conditions until it has been repaired by an authorized Specialized retailer. Dealers are re-gluing the control pad on the battery to seal it better.

No injuries have been reported,

The bikes with the relevant batteries were sold by authorized Specialized retailers nationwide and online from November 2017 through May 2021 for between $3,400 and $10,000. Specialized M1 Battery Packs were also distributed individually under warranty claims or sold by authorized Specialized retailers and online at www.specialized.com from November 2017 through March 2019 for about $900.

The batteries were made in Taiwan.

According to Specialized:

For the small number (estimated less than 15%) of battery packs, if conductive water (e.g., salt or chlorinated) penetrates the seal around the Control Pad, e.g., through repeated pressure-washing, and reaches a specific very small area of the battery pack’s protection circuit board, it can in very rare cases trigger a short-circuit that would bypass the multiple layers of protection built into the battery pack. In sufficiently charged battery packs, this can potentially lead to a thermal runaway event, posing fire and burn hazards.