Chris King’s new wheelset offerings.
With the big bicycle industry trade show (Interbike) just wrapping up, and with lots of local bike industry news piling up on my desk in the past few weeks, I figured it was time for another roundup…
Chris King Precision Components now offers complete wheelsets
Northwest Portland-based component manufacturer Chris King made a big announcement before Interbike: They now have a full-fledged wheel building program. The new line of wheels is built in-house and they offer models for road, cyclocross, and mountain bikes (ranging from $1,000 to $3,300 a set). They come with Chris King hubs (obviously) and are built up with an “intentionally selected” and “pedigreed list” of parts from respected industry brands. King’s wheel program is being overseen by Greg Hudson, formerly of Corsa Concepts. Get pricing info and learn more at ChrisKing.com.
Zen Bicycle Fabrication launches private label program
Zen has found a niche building bikes on contract for many brands in the past few years. Now they’ve launched a private label program that will offer a turn-key solution to their customers. Zen has developed two frames — a cyclocross and a “trail-convertible fatbike” frame — that other bike companies can attach their branding to and build up however they’d like. This gives companies the ability to offer a Portland-made frame at a lower lower cost that they can purchase with much smaller minimum order quantities.
Here’s more from Zen:
Recognizing a growing need in the industry, the private label concept was developed to support distributers, teams, bike shops, adventure outfitters, and brands looking to expand their line.
“We are often contacted by companies that want common designs but are unable to meet minimum order quantities or invest in engineering, testing and tooling. We want to use our passion for frame design and fabrication to allow customers to focus on selling quality US products” says David Woronets, Owner and Product Manager.
Learn more about the program on Zen’s website.
Rapha opens “Cycle Club” in New York City
Rapha, the London-based apparel company with its North American headquarters in Portland, opened one of their Cycle Clubs in lower Manhattan last week. The location, 64 Gansevoort Street, puts Rapha’s name in the heart of one of New York City’s most exclusive neighborhoods and it’s likely to push the brand into even greater heights. In addition to NYC, Rapha now has retail locations in Sydney, London, Osaka, and San Francisco. Learn more at Rapha.cc.
Kinn Bikes launches Kickstarter campaign
After selling out if his first batch of 30 bikes, Kinn Bikes founder Alistair Williamson is asking the community to help him take a big step up in production. With strong demand for his distinctive “fast and family friendly transport” bikes, Alistair wants to invest in tooling and equipment to set up a proper bike manufacturing operation right here in Portland. He’s asking for $50,000 via a Kickstarter campaign that just started a few days ago. Check out his video below to learn more about Kinn and why you should help the company grow (for more on Kinn, read our profile from August 2012):
Ed Dalton and Kevin Murphy find new industry pursuits
We end this week’s roundup with two big personnel moves:
— Ed Dalton, formerly the owner of Showers Pass clothing, has been hired by California-based Albabici. Dalton is now the senior VP/director of North American sales for the company, which distributes a large line of Italian apparel and accessory brands. According to Bicycle Retailer & Industry News magazine, Dalton will focus on expanding sales of the Nalini clothing line in the U.S.
— Kevin Murphy, formerly the sales manager at Portland Design Works (and before that he held a similar position at Showers Pass), is now the director of sales and marketing for Swobo. Murphy will work to grow sales of Swobo clothing and bicycles and will “lead Swobo’s marketing initiatives through strategic event promotion and social media management,” says a company statement. Swobo is based in Fort Collins, Colorado, but Murphy will work from Portland.
— Follow all the local bicycle industry news via our Business Section archives.