Business

BWR Partners With Specialized

by editors on September 8, 2021

The producers of the Belgian Waffle Ride series of gravel racing events announced today that they have signed on Specialized as their official bicycle and bicycle fitting technology partner for the Belgian Waffle Ride in Lawrence, Kansas October 29-31, 2021.

For the first time, Monuments of Cycling is bringing its iconic form of racing to Kansas, where a vibrant cycling culture anxiously awaits this new spectacle to be known as The Hell of the Mid-West. Now with Specialized onboard, the BWR KS promises a deep field and exciting support from the leading bicycle brand. The BWR, which is celebrating 10 years in 2021, will provide professional and amateur cyclists alike the opportunity to ride the most coveted roads, punctuated by dozens of off-road sectors over a 111-mile route throughout the northeast region of Kansas, giving the event its unique complexion.

For the official word from Monuents of Cycling, please follow the jump.

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Specialized Is Out at Mike’s Bikes

by editors on September 7, 2021

When Mike’s Bikes the “small chain” of 12 bicycling stores in Northern California was sold to the Pon Group in August many wondered what would happen to their deal with Specialized, seeing as the Pon Group is the parent company of Santa Cruz, Cervelo, Gazelle, and Focus, among others. Well, wonder no more. In an letter to Northern California cyclists, Specialized announced today (September 7, 2021) that their product will no longer be sold at Mike’s Bikes, saying:

. . . Mike’s Bikes has provided first-rate service to Specialized riders for the past 23 years. They’ve been a great partner, but our relationship with them has ended as they undergo new ownership by a European Cycling company. . . We’re working quickly to ensure that Specialized riders in Northern California not only remain supported but that their experience is better than it’s ever been before. We’re continuing to improve on online experience so you can shop with us how you’d like.

It couldn’t have happened to a nicer brand. Kind of fun to see Specialized getting the sharp end of the business stick every once in a while. But hey, now that Specialized has done everything they can to squeeze small bike retailers out of business, they’re kinda left with selling direct online. All we can say is, welcome to Canyon country, Specialized! Hope it all goes well for you, because, like most, we absolutely love your shoes!

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Peto Sagan Leaving Bora-hansgrohe

by editors on July 29, 2021

Looks like Peto Sagan is on his way to other (not sure if they’re greener) pastures as he will be leaving the Bora-hansgrohe team at the end of this season. His quote makes him sound not all that stoked: “I’m sure BORA – hansgrohe will continue to be successful and I wish them all the best in the coming seasons,” Sagan says. Hmm, we know Quickstep didn’t want his entourage. So where will he go? Who knows.

For all the details from Bora-hansgrohe, please follow the jump.

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Outside Adds Pinkbike To Media Quiver

by editors on July 16, 2021

It seems the BLOAT just can’t keep his hands off more cycling media brands as Outside buys mountain bike community Pinkbike (along with Cyclingtips and Trailforks). In a letter from the editor on July 16, 2021, Pinkbike’s “head of editorial” Brian Park explained exactly why selling out to Outside (formerly known as Pocket Outdoor Media) was such a great thing.

Pinkbike’s mission to be the pulse of mountain biking and to share the ride with the global mountain bike community doesn’t change, only now we have more resources and capabilities to take on even bigger and better projects. . . Our head office remains in Squamish, BC, and we’re about to move into a brand new office space with way more room to grow. We’ll also have access to new equipment and improved test facilities for more scientific, objective product evaluations.

Newly acquired media properties always seem optimistic about how “everything will stay the same, but we’ll have more opportunities to do all kinds of cool stuff” and rarely is this the case in reality. Big brands buy small brands so they can kill off competition and streamline efficiencies. But hey, let’s hope it goes well for Pinkbike et. al. Maybe the new Outside is better than all the media conglomerates that have come before. It could happen.

[Link: Pinkbike]

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JoJé Bar Sold To RoadRunner Holdings

by editors on March 18, 2021

Since starting JoJé Bar in 2016, Founder and CEO Jess Cerra’s mission has been to create a line of energy bars baked with real-food ingredients that strikes the perfect balance of taste and nutrition.

While the bars fulfilled this quest – delivering some of the best-tasting bars on the market by being baked like a home-cooked style soft cookie, while providing easy-to-digest nutrients and sustained energy for athletes and active people – Cerra was also trying to find a way to balance all of her life’s goals and ambitions, from being a founder and CEO, to a professional chef and instructor, a professional gravel cyclist and event organizer, as well as a journalist and TV correspondent.

Today Cerra was able to take a step toward finding that balance as RoadRunner Holdings LLC announced the addition of JoJé Bar to its portfolio of athlete-focused active nutrition brands. Cerra will become the Vice President of Product and Community Development for RoadRunner, working alongside RoadRunner Holdings CEO Mac Tillman.

For all the official details, please follow the jump.

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Pocket Outdoor Media Goes Outside

by editors on February 22, 2021

Pocket Outdoor Media, the umbrella company that owns VeloNews, Backpacker, SKI, Climbing, and many other media properties, (we wrote all about them here) announced today (February 22, 20121) the purchase of Outside, parent company of Outside Magazine, Outside TV, Peloton Magazine and the rest from owner Larry Burke for an undisclosed sum, according to a story on Pocket Media’s SNews.com.

“Adding these businesses to our portfolio and rebranding Pocket is a transformative moment for us,” says Robin Thurston, CEO of the all-new Outside. “Together with our other category-leading properties—SKI, Yoga Journal, Backpacker, Trail Runner, VeloNews, Climbing, Warren Miller Entertainment, Roll Massif, FinisherPix, SNEWS, and more—these brands make our new company the world’s leading creator of active living content, experiences, travel, and services. We now deliver content to almost every home in America across every platform, screen, and device.”

Is consolidation good? When it keeps your favorite brand alive it may be. And with this purchase, the newly renamed Outside seems to have saved a bundle of brands from certain death. So, yay, Outside!

[Link: SNews.com]

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Specialized, Lance Armstrong & VeloNews

by editors on July 21, 2020

While doing a little web cruising this morning, wondering whatever happened to some old media friends, we stumbled onto a press release from June 30, 2020 suggesting that Specialized and The Biggest Liar of All Time (aka BLOAT aka Lance Armstrong) have joined forces to possibly control the cycling narrative through media ownership.

Here’s how it goes: VeloNews (and Bicycle Retailer) owner Pocket Outdoor Media just purchased a boat load of “media” titles from another media/events company called Active Interest Media. Not that cyclists should care, but the titles Pocket purchased include: Warren Miller Entertainment, Ski Magazine, Backpacker, Climbing, Yoga Journal, Vegetarian Times, and more.

This got more interesting when Pocket Outdoor Media listed where they got the money to grab the titles. It came from a “Series A” round of funding from three different venture capital groups, namely JAZZ Venture Partners, NEXT VENTŪRES, and Zone 5 Ventures.

Who are these venture firms? Well, JAZZ is a bunch of neuroscience medical start-up brainiacs based in San Francisco, Next Ventures is the BLOAT and friends (yes, he still has some), and Zone 5 Ventures is Specialized’s early-stage investment arm which is run by former and current employees at Specialized.

We haven’t had reason to follow anyone from JAZZ, but before starting Next with the BLOAT managing partner Lionel Conacher was a senior advisor and operating partner at Altamont Capital Partners, LLC which has large stakes in the Billabong, Brixton, Fox (head), HUF, and Dakine brands. Lance’s other partner at Next is Melanie Strong, the former Nike vice president and general manager of Nike Skateboarding.

So why are all these corporate jocks suddenly interested in the action sports media world in general and cycling in particular? Is it because in these COVID times the only thing any of us can do is spend time outside? Is it because distressed action media brands are currently a bargain? Or is it because (as we suspect) The BLOAT and Specialized want to own the cycling narrative from beginning to end?

How do you feel about getting all your cycling news from Specialized and The BLOAT? It doesn’t feel all that good to us. Makes it even more difficult to know what to believe, doesn’t it? For instance, how long will this story on Specialized’s silly trademark lawsuit stay up on the VeloNews website? Click the link to see if it’s still there. 

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Brendan Quirk Joins Allied Cycle Works

by editors on September 3, 2019

Brendan Quirk, the former President of Rapha North America, and co-founder of Competitive Cyclist (sold to Backcountry.com in 2011), has stepped in as the interim CEO of Allied Cycle Works, in Bentonville, Arkansas.

“Being a start-up is an uphill battle,” Quirk said. “But in the last few months, Allied has really broken through.”. . . He called out the recent launch of the Able gravel frameset – the bike ridden to victory in both the Men’s and Women’s races at the world’s most prestigious gravel event, the Dirty Kanza 200. . . “The success of the Able proves that our foundation is in place,” Quirk said, in reference to Allied’s U.S.-based frame production. “The market is responding, the momentum is tangible, and I’m excited to be part of the future here.”

As he should be. The bikes look right nice, indeed. Check them out here. For the official word from Allied, follow the jump.

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Volvo + POC = Crash Test Smarties

by editors on June 4, 2019

Volvo and POC have teamed up for a series of crash tests between cars and cycling helmets for research on how to make cycling safer.

The Volvo-POC research project consists of a number of specially designed crash tests at the famous Volvo Cars safety research facilities in Gothenburg, Sweden and is part of a wider research project to understand the types of long-term injuries sustained by cyclists. . . During these tests, POC bike helmets are worn by crash dummy heads mounted on a testing rig, from where they are launched towards different areas of the hood of a static Volvo car, at different speeds and angles for various measurements.

Obviously, the easiest way to protect cyclists from cars is to remove cars from the road, but apparently, that’s not worth testing. For the official word from Volvo and POC, please follow the jump.

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Apple’s News+ App Brings Some Cycling

by editors on March 26, 2019

In a keynote address yesterday (March 25, 2019), Apple’s Tim Cook mentioned that the newly launched News+ app is like having an “entire newsstand on your iPhone” and for cyclists he’s not exactly wrong. The new subscription app which charges users $9.99 a month for unlimited magazine viewing from at least 300 different magazine titles does include four cycling magazines in the mix: Bicycling, Bike, Canadian Cycling, Cycling Plus, and Mountain Biking UK.

While maybe not our first choices in cycling magazines currently, when coupled with other titles that we might be interested in reading like The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, Rolling Stone, The Week, et al. this new subscription model might not be all that bad of a deal, assuming of course, that spending $120 a year for magazines that must be read on an iPhone, iPad, or Apple computer is something you’re into. For more info on Apple News+ please click the link.

[Link: News+]

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