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  1. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by skaredshtles View Post
    They had a gravel route...
    sounds lame.
    a positive attitude will not solve all of your problems, but it may annoy enough people to make it worth the effort

    Formerly Rludes025

  2. #77
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    I work with a bike apparel brand and growing at all is a win right now. So goes REI, so goes the rest of the outdoor--a tale as old as time.

    IMHO, lots of outdoors businesses, including those in bike, got a little too excited by the covid bump and threw logic out the window. I was involved in many a conversation where hardcore outdoors peeps in the outdoor industry referenced people finally discovering these activities--and assumed that they and their money were here to stay. The average price of bikes these days doesn't help, either and the market is absolutely flooded, from soft goods to high end bikes.

    You will see more of these, unfortunately. Bike is a very small market and bike companies only have big chips to play with. The brands in the best position are DTC brands who enjoy better efficiencies, way better visibility and insulative margins.

    The shops have to deliver incredible service and have the relatively consumable accessories and soft goods on hand because they're not going to be selling bikes at much of a velocity. Shops that successfully build community via friendly employees, great service and small events, etc will do well, a la Over the Edge, Fat Tire Farm, etc. I know I try to buy from our local shop as frequently as possible, though I ride a Canyon...

    And RIP Kona. My SexOne was the first nice bike I ever bought and it brings many a great memory. And FWIW, Scott has been mismanaged since it was purchased by the Italians way back when. The owner is a world class asshole who has a long history of disregarding his employees' counsel.

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  3. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Reverend Floater View Post
    IMHO, lots of outdoors businesses, including those in bike, got a little too excited by the covid bump and threw logic out the window.
    ^this. I’m just a lowly peon in the outdoor industry, but I was questioning brands decisions in 2022 wondering why they were down VS. 21 on our platform. Constant talk by me of “let’s look at 2019 and add a bit for growth and we’re doing great!” Got thrown out the window. I’m baffled by how financial planners for major bike companies didn’t see this as a hiccup and not a long term shift.





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  4. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phall View Post
    ^this. I’m just a lowly peon in the outdoor industry, but I was questioning brands decisions in 2022 wondering why they were down VS. 21 on our platform. Constant talk by me of “let’s look at 2019 and add a bit for growth and we’re doing great!” Got thrown out the window. I’m baffled by how financial planners for major bike companies didn’t see this as a hiccup and not a long term shift.





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    Yup. We went all in and crushed 20/21 but fortunately peeled back for the following year. We definitely had excess inventory but nothing catastrophic. Being D2C helped tremendously --nothing beats real time data and the flashing red lights that come with it.

    Generally, I don't blame people. It was unprecedented and the thing about the outdoor industry is that it's largely run by really passionate outdoors people like you and I. We tend to have a pretty subjective view on our passion and it's really difficult to temper. When millions of Americans are picking up bikes/skis/bows/snowmobiles for the first time and someone asks, "will they be long-term enthusiasts," it's hard to say "probably not" in a room full of hardcore users. Especially when peeps were migrating to mountain towns, etc. A lot of the data said it was for real while many brands were posting high double digit growth. And that's how the fire spread.

    Then there were companies who really fucked up by initially pulling back when covid hit, thus missing the wave, then trying to play catch up and getting smoked by the flats. I know a few big brands that got double crushed in that manner.

    Good news is that those brands that survive this will have absolutely invaluable experience and perspective.

    Sent from my SM-S928U1 using Tapatalk
    "All God does is watch us and kill us when we get boring. We must never, ever be boring."

  5. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phall View Post
    ^this. I’m just a lowly peon in the outdoor industry, but I was questioning brands decisions in 2022 wondering why they were down VS. 21 on our platform. Constant talk by me of “let’s look at 2019 and add a bit for growth and we’re doing great!” Got thrown out the window. I’m baffled by how financial planners for major bike companies didn’t see this as a hiccup and not a long term shift.





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    Because in modern business number must go up forever and ever, amen

  6. #81
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    I wonder how Marin is doing, they are in that ‘neither big nor small’ category, which is difficult to navigate in the best of times.
    Forum Cross Pollinator, gratuitously strident

  7. #82
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    Kona’s parent company they are gonna sell off Kona. But it looks like they are gonna slash costs deeply in the meantime.

    Everything everyone has said about the mentality during the Covid boom rings true. Especially the part about the group think. Add to that the insular nature of hiring practices (ie very little fresh blood from outside the industry) and you have a perfect storm for everyone thinking the high times would continue forever).

    Plenty of folks in or next to the industry saw in happening and worried though, including me. It was just that no one listened. I think there was so much missed opportunity when the boom happened due to low stock that everyone felt they couldn’t miss the coming wave. But the wave only lasted 2 years.

    Course, on the other hand, I assumed that the home fitness industry would collapse after the Covid boom also. A local Denver company named REP expanded like crazy, and I assumed it would cause them to go out of business. In actuality, they did awesome, and are even adding a European facility. So what do I know?

    This same thing happened during the craft beer boom. I’m pretty involved in that industry – or at least I was at the time when there still folks with cash to do projects. Those that were able to make it big during the boom stayed healthy, and big. Those that didn’t quite make it there got crushed.

    I think a similar thing is likely to happen here. The companies to make it through healthy will have the capital to take advantage when the wave comes back. It’ll be much smaller, but it will still be buying power. But those that are hurting won’t have the capital , and they’ll continue to hurt.

    Sucks to see this. And it’s really hurting real people.

  8. #83
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    If you're one to listen to podcasts, look up the 4-part series by the Escape Collective (possibly mentioned already) about what happened with the bike industry over the last four years... it's super interesting and has some real-world examples of how things played out over the last four years. There were lots of questionable decisions made by all kinds of companies, suppliers, manufacturers, etc. and it seems like the ones that either made smart decisions, or who are big enough to survive bad decisions, will be the ones still standing when things finally recover.

  9. #84
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    Maybe one of the Walton heirs buys it as a passion project (like a better MTB replacement for Viathon)…

    Seems like a bad time to be looking for a buyer for a floundering bike brand…

  10. #85
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    almost a year ago visiting a shop bro he told me things were gona happen and he sure wasn't wrong

    who - everybody from major brands to distributors, yup
    when - pretty much right away, yup
    how long - since at least 2018
    who will survive- the LBS with a strong shop
    Lee Lau - xxx-er is the laziest Asian canuck I know

  11. #86
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    Uhh, yeah…this was obvious to basically everyone that looked at it with a critical eye. Peloton probably were the kings of losing in this regard.
    Forum Cross Pollinator, gratuitously strident

  12. #87
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    A post from bikerumor!

    I’m posting anonymously due to potential repercussions, but as someone who works at Kona under Kent Outdoors, I feel compelled to share the distressing realities we face and urge you to take action.

    Kent Outdoors is currently run by short-sighted individuals who are utterly disconnected from the communities, sports, and people attached to their brands. Their lack of understanding and interest in cycling and any other sport has not only led to poor decision making but also to a toxic corporate environment where Kona and their other brands are suffering greatly. Under their management, Kona has accumulated millions of dollars in unpaid debts to our suppliers (Fairly and Hodaka), with no attempts made to negotiate or even communicate, effectively planning to stiff them. This strategy isn’t limited to Kona; it’s a disturbing pattern that is evident across all brands under the Kent Outdoors umbrella. I urge all suppliers and partners across the board that do business with Kent Outdoors to be careful. Everyone should be seriously concerned about this pattern of non-payment and poor business ethics.

    The working conditions here are more than just poor—they’re abysmal. Communication is practically non-existent now under the new management, creating a chaotic environment where decisions are made without transparency or employee input. The stress of potentially not getting paid has been a reality for some of us, adding to an overwhelming sense of job insecurity. Long hours, and weekend work, is the norm all without additional compensation or even basic recognition of our hard work.

    The only individuals who seem to survive and even advance under the current regime are the “yes men” those who align too readily with a flawed agenda, lacking critical engagement or genuine passion for the brands. This has caused significant unrest among other brands under the Kent Outdoors umbrella, who are equally upset about these new leaders. Their inability to effectively manage people, combined with a lack of fundamental understanding of the communities they serve, is rapidly destroying the companies. These leaders are not just failing; they are actively dismantling the very essence of what made all of these brands successful.

    The company is not just being led poorly; it’s being led by individuals who don’t seem to care about the damage they’re doing to the brands, communities, or people. Any company considering a partnership with Kent Outdoors should seriously reconsider. Any customer should consider carefully buying products from our companies since who knows if we will even have the parts to support them.

    In light of these issues, I am calling on all community members to join us in boycotting all Kent Outdoors brands. We need to demonstrate that these destructive practices are unacceptable. By uniting and applying public pressure, we hope to initiate a significant change in Kent Outdoors’ direction and leadership to a model that values the employees, respects the community, and truly understands the sports industries they are part of.

    Thank you for taking the time to read this and for any support you can lend. Let’s stand together to save Kona and the other brands we cherish.
    a positive attitude will not solve all of your problems, but it may annoy enough people to make it worth the effort

    Formerly Rludes025

  13. #88
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    I think I have said it on here before, but from first-hand experience during the boom and through 2022 as a purchaser and operations manager for a small bike brand, I saw some shit. I saw some of the mid-level companies do amazing things to help each other out. I saw the big bad companies do shockingly selfless acts as well as straight-up lie and make false promises. Overall, I think most industry teams did what they had to do, as shit was just crazy. My biggest takeaway was the shipping industry can go fuck itself. The shit they pulled without repercussion was insane. Major US ports seem to be run by criminals; at one point, I was given a phone number suggesting that if I wanted a container unloaded, I should call it and be ready to pay. The greed and overbuying by the big players (TREK, QBP, etc.) screwed over a lot of smaller brands. It's been well over two decades, but QBP was local to me growing up; I used to drive down to pick up orders. I now have my local shop order my parts from BTI or direct if possible.

    It took all the fun out of the industry for me, ultimately leading me to walk away from 25 years of experience. I guess it was a good excuse to try something else.

    Maybe it convinces one or two of you to do the same, maybe not, but the brands I try to spend money with after the experience: Industry Nine, MRP, SDG, and Stans. Of the big brands, FOX was honestly amazingly accommodating during the worst of it. There are deals to be had out there right now, but if you can afford it, throw a little money at the brands that align with your values. It matters. I know I can do better in this regard.
    a positive attitude will not solve all of your problems, but it may annoy enough people to make it worth the effort

    Formerly Rludes025

  14. #89
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    SSU insolvency and the bike industry generally

    Quote Originally Posted by Eluder View Post
    My biggest takeaway was the shipping industry can go fuck itself. The shit they pulled without repercussion was insane. Major US ports seem to be run by criminals; at one point, I was given a phone number suggesting that if I wanted a container unloaded, I should call it and be ready to pay.
    That shit has been going on for decades in other industries… I’ve called that “expediter” and paid that “fee” too many times to count. COVID just slowed down the logistics train so much it bled into recreational goods.


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    Last edited by nickwm21; 04-20-2024 at 02:51 PM.
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  15. #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by smmokan View Post
    If you're one to listen to podcasts, look up the 4-part series by the Escape Collective (possibly mentioned already) about what happened with the bike industry over the last four years... it's super interesting and has some real-world examples of how things played out over the last four years. There were lots of questionable decisions made by all kinds of companies, suppliers, manufacturers, etc. and it seems like the ones that either made smart decisions, or who are big enough to survive bad decisions, will be the ones still standing when things finally recover.
    Listened to this in the car today. Great podcast

  16. #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by nickwm21 View Post
    That shit has been going on for decades in other industries… I’ve called that “expediter” and paid that “fee” too many times to count. COVID just slowed down the logistics train so much it bled into recreational goods.


    Sent from my iPhone using TGR Forums
    We absolutely bribed our way through covid, used shady go-betweens and did everything we could to get product. It was wretched.



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    "All God does is watch us and kill us when we get boring. We must never, ever be boring."

  17. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eluder View Post
    A post from bikerumor!
    Welcome to private equity.



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    "All God does is watch us and kill us when we get boring. We must never, ever be boring."

  18. #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Reverend Floater View Post
    Welcome to private equity.

    Sent from my SM-S928U1 using Tapatalk
    Funny, I was going to say “Welcome to Corporate America”.

  19. #94
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    Quote Originally Posted by smmokan View Post
    Funny, I was going to say “Welcome to Corporate America”.
    The complaint of inauthentic management who have no understanding of the community or customer combined with over leverage is distinctly PE. It's an epidemic.

    Sent from my SM-S928U1 using Tapatalk
    "All God does is watch us and kill us when we get boring. We must never, ever be boring."

  20. #95
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eluder View Post
    Major US ports seem to be run by criminals
    Hasn't that been the case since, like, forever? On The Waterfront was 1954.

  21. #96
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dantheman View Post
    Hasn't that been the case since, like, forever? On The Waterfront was 1954.
    I know, I shouldn't have been surprised. It's just fucked up to experience.
    a positive attitude will not solve all of your problems, but it may annoy enough people to make it worth the effort

    Formerly Rludes025

  22. #97
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    We love our Kona bikes and I’m considering a new one given sales. It would seem that buying one through a LBS would really help locally even if it doesn’t conform with a boycott of Kent Outdoors.

  23. #98
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peruvian View Post
    We love our Kona bikes and I’m considering a new one given sales. It would seem that buying one through a LBS would really help locally even if it doesn’t conform with a boycott of Kent Outdoors.
    I'd suggest, if you do that, just to make sure you are clear WHY you are buying the Kona (love the brand, know it may go away, and want to suport the retailer), so as to ensure the store doesn't buy any more konas from Kent.

    But really good idea on supporting the local retailer in this way IMO

    A buddy of mine worked at Nukeproof and turned down a few other attractive gigs to go over to Kona. Oof. He certainly knew what he was getting himself into, but still feeling for him and his family.

  24. #99
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Reverend Floater View Post
    The complaint of inauthentic management who have no understanding of the community or customer combined with over leverage is distinctly PE. It's an epidemic.

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    Ding ding ding
    No longer stuck.

    Quote Originally Posted by stuckathuntermtn View Post
    Just an uneducated guess.

  25. #100
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    In BC Kona was always a big name brand like Rocky or Brodie, I always dug their HT's with a radicaly sloping top tube, i bought my 15yr old kid an HT and then rescued it from him before he could ride it off the garage roof and I still use it as my gravel/ touring bike

    a couple of local buds cashed in on the BOGO offfer last fall which sounded pretty good,

    I will be sorry to see Kona go
    Last edited by XXX-er; 04-22-2024 at 01:42 PM.
    Lee Lau - xxx-er is the laziest Asian canuck I know

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