Intense Cycles Hire New CEO and CFO, Big Things on the Way

Carbon

Big things are afoot at Intense Cycles. As one of the industry’s iconic American brands, when they came on the scene in 1993, Intense bikes turned a lot of heads. They still do. Over 20 years later (has it really been that long?) Intense is continuing to grow. The latest news out of Temecula, California is the hiring of Andrew Herrick as the company’s new CEO. Herrick has spent the last 11 years with Crankbrothers and after selling CB 5 years ago, he stayed on as the CEO until last summer. Joining Herrick will be the company’s new CFO Eelco Niermeijer.

The news is apparently just the start of things to come with a new product launch due in March.

From Intense:

January 14, 2014, Temecula, CA – This evening, at a media event held at The Mercantile in Temecula, Intense Cycles founder Jeff Steber and partner Marv Strand, announce that Andrew Herrick is joining the company as its Chief Executive Officer.

Herrick had spent the prior 11 years in an executive leadership position at crankbrothers, having sold the business 5 years prior and staying on as CEO until handing over the reins last summer. At that time, he stated that he wanted to find the next great opportunity in the complete bike industry.

“This is another piece of our plan to transform Intense” said Jeff Steber, company founder and partner in Intense, “We had hoped we would find someone with Andrew’s experience and passion for smaller companies. Andrew comes with a proven track history to grow companies both domestically and internationally with his marketing and sales knowledge.”

Herrick added, “When Jeff approached me, I had been looking at some other opportunities but Jeff, Marv and their team convinced me that they were ready and committed to doing something very special with Intense. With the heritage of this great brand and incredible product, I was convinced that this was my next opportunity.”

“However”, Herrick went on to say, “I knew I couldn’t do it without a strong Chief Financial Officer to guide the company on the envisioned growth path, and the company’s recent addition of Eelco Neirmeijer as CFO made the choice easier for me.”

Steber and Strand had recently welcomed Eelco Niermeijer as the company’s CFO. Eelco had come from a larger company environment where he held several financial positions at a public industrial group..

“I have spent some time looking at the Intense business and the bicycle market and I am thrilled to be joining the team”, Niermeijer said. “This company just finished a year in which revenues grew more than 40% and this type of success is giving Intense the freedom to execute an exciting strategy and invest in its future. Andrew’s ability to join the company is a direct result of our recent growth, and the strategic opportunities available to us. We will immediately begin building our finished goods inventory to make sure dealers and distributors can get bikes at very short notice from Intense and we will have a historic high level of inventory of our new bike which will be released in a couple of months from now. These are major initiatives for me personally in my role at Intense.”

Comments

CHUNKY - 01/15/14 - 4:02pm

Intense + Crank Brothers =?……

Good stuff, I hope….

Straight frames and no rebuild kit with each shipment :)

Chris - 01/15/14 - 4:08pm

This is going to be intense.

LouisLou - 01/15/14 - 4:21pm

as a former intense owner, the number of “whoa dat bike is intense”… “jokes”… really overshadow the potential for trail comedians to ask if that bike truly is specialized, and for what purpose; or how many treks you’ve gone on with your bike. don’t know what it is about intense that tickles the funny bones of fine humor connoisseurs so much. miss the bike. congrats to them on their big plans.

Ted - 01/15/14 - 4:49pm

So we can look forward to Intense quality taking a big sh!t? Or a big effort to revamp their logo and fancy themselves as the Bang Olufsen of the Industry while they private label off the shelf stuff out of Asia?

This guys joins the sinking GT ship, flees to make the CB brand no longer worth the paper it’s printed on before jumping overboard and now he’s off to Intense. Sorry Jeff, bad hire, very bad.

Bikeman - 01/15/14 - 5:15pm

I hope Intense will stop selling the online stores. It really hurts your brand.

John - 01/15/14 - 5:25pm

Have an Intense Spider Comp Carbon 29 – now for about a year. More and more impressed with it as time passes.

Al - 01/15/14 - 7:55pm

GT is probably more relevant now than they have been in over a decade. Crank Brothers prints their parts on paper? Or are you referring to the packaging? Crank Brothers has come along way from making mini pumps and have some really nice components. I love their pedals.
Jeff Steber is one of the smartest guys in this business and I doubt he made these hires without some serious thought. There are details that none of us are privy to, so in the mean time I’ll reserve judgement.
I wish the Intense crew all of the best.

greg - 01/15/14 - 10:20pm

like Ted said,
i hope their bikes dont start to look better and perform worse.

Chainwhipped - 01/16/14 - 1:59am

Good for them! Now, all they have to do is make straight frames that don’t break. Maybe learn a thing or six about making suspension hardware that doesn’t snap off when you look at it cross eyed.

The last time I worked for an intense dealer, I warrantied more frames than we sold. The bikes rode well, but that doesn’t mean much if your bike is only rideable 40% of the time.

Intense needs a miracle. Maybe this is the miracle?

Mindless - 01/16/14 - 2:00am

Crankbrothers?

Intense is screwed.

Mindless - 01/16/14 - 2:01am

@Bikeman: Selling online is the way to go. Screw the middlemen.

Jason - 01/16/14 - 2:02am

Ya have to be excited for Intense, they have some really awesome bikes, (I’ve had 2 a 5.5 and an M1)

However, I hope they don’t outsource everything overseas. I liked that they are a USA company.

Rohan - 01/16/14 - 2:57am

@Jason I’m right with you on that one. Really hope they don’t stop building bikes in the USA. This is what draws me to Intense and makes them stay in my to buy list.

Mindless - 01/16/14 - 4:46am

They do not build their carbon models in US. And there is nothing special about welding aluminum. Taiwan made frames are just as good.

Rohan - 01/16/14 - 11:38am

@mindless yes I know their Carbon bikes are not made in the USA, don’t care don’t want a carbon bike. Yes I know Alloy bikes are made in Taiwan as well and very good. Still don’t care I want one that’s not made in Taiwan or China.

kevin - 01/16/14 - 1:28pm

My wifes Spider dripping with Crank Bros. goodies should make these boys happy! It is a stunningly beautiful bike; I have no idea of how it rides but it sure doesn’t hold her back one bit.

mike - 01/16/14 - 3:31pm

when I bought my santa cruz bike I though intense was the direct competitor back in 08 but now I see they are far back…

david french - 01/16/14 - 5:32pm

Ah so now we’re going to see bearings that wear out in 3 rides and no spare part stock at Intense eh?

Mindless - 01/16/14 - 9:01pm

@Rohan: So you prefer misaligned frames that crack, as long as they are made in US to high quality frames that last if they are made in Taiwan? OK.

Big Boy - 01/16/14 - 9:44pm

Wow… Think the bean counter will figure out how to actually produce frame sets in an XL size ???

MTB4LIFE29 - 01/16/14 - 10:08pm

Real question is when will they revamp their website? Currently they win the worst and most confusing site on the planet. Love the brand, but seriously.

ice - 01/17/14 - 3:32am

Show me some good working stuff from CB, all of them are full of bugs! Wish better future to Intense..means without that CB guy!

rgeniec - 01/17/14 - 1:10pm

Start by putting a contact number on your website. Its like they dont want to hear from their customers. AMAZING.

rg - 01/17/14 - 3:06pm

Phone # is clearly on the home page/bottom right….

otto - 01/19/14 - 10:23am

Lots of great opinions and passion here for sure, however, don’t blame the manufactures for going over seas. The consumer and dealer are to blame. While there are a few loyal dealers and riders out there that truly support USA made products, most don’t care. Give them a great margin; marketing and supply chain that they can count on, the origin of the bike is not an issue to the masses. Being an industry veteran for over 23 years, have seen it over and over again, “why is that bike $250 more then that one?” When the dealer tells the consumer its made in the USA, they will 9/10 times what to save the money and don’t care. Like them or not Cannondale was the last one standing and they tried for years to avoid yet when they went “off shore” they were considered evil but are experiencing the most profitable years ever. Not to mention that some of the domestic work force is not willing to work for the wages offered. As for Intense, small company with a loyal following that is just trying to make a better go at it. Hats off to Jeff and Marv for looking for some guidance to take the next step.

Rohan - 01/20/14 - 8:12am

@Mindless Sure Intense may have had some misaligned frames, you show me a bike manufacturer who hasn’t had a single issue and I show you a liar. It happens with Taiwanese made stuff too. Ask Niner about stuff from Taiwan that wasn’t OK. When its good its good when its bad its bad. I currently ride a Cube which is made in Taiwan great frame. But I want my next bike to not be from Taiwan, got issues with that not my problem.

SteveD - Industrial Engineer - 02/13/14 - 5:49pm

As far as quality and defect issues, the fix is fairly simple. Put QA (quality assurance) steps in place at all steps of the process. Have well defined specification…if product is outside of those margins it is defective, which would require scraping or re-work. Having the process in place is not cheap, requires outside consultants. But, if Intense puts in the effort to have a Six Sigma process in place (or requires it for their supplier/builder, etc) defines it clearly there is no reason the bikes will be high quality. With that process a miss-aligned frame can not be shipped to a distributor.

It is clear that they are looking to invest I would be surprised if this would an area that would be over looked. I am looking forward to see what Intense puts out in the market.

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