Blue Competition Cycles Back, New Models Coming for 2015

Blue Competition Cycles updates AC1 and Triad aero and triathlon bikes for Di2 and offers blue hawaiian floral paint scheme as stock option

The then-new AC1 aero road bike shown at DealerCamp in 2012.

In summer 2012, Blue Competition Cycles was busy revamping its aero road and triathlon bikes leading into a sale to Lake Rudd Capital Partners. That sale completed, followed quickly by a move to sell to Divine Group. With Divine Group’s recent bankruptcy (which led to Mad Fiber going on the auction block), the brand was in limbo.

We buzzed CEO Steven Harad to see what was going on. Here’s what he had to say:

“Last week, we officially sold the company to The Minds Group. We’re setting up our business in Delaware, but it’s owned by a factory out of Taiwan that will largely remain anonymous. From the consumer end, it’s a U.S. company and will remain that way. It’s literally baby steps right now. We’ve got a million dollars worth of inventory in Asia and the first container leaves today. So we’ll have a lot of bikes here soon.

“We’re financially sound, the backing is great. I’ve rehired Daniel Stallings as our sales manager. He was with the company through the the original owners and the mess that happened in the interim. The decisions -sales, marketing, product management- are all made by the two of us, and it’s great to have the history that Daniel brings.

“We’ve been working behind the scenes so we wouldn’t lose momentum. We have four new bikes designed and almost ready for 2015. We won’t be at Eurobike, mainly because we won’t be ready, so our debut will at Interbike. We have a couple new cyclocross bikes, and we’ll definitely be in Kona this year for Ironman. We’re looking at road teams for road models, and we’re looking outside those three basic categories for expansion in 2015 and beyond.

“The cool thing is it’s a huge challenge, we’ve got a lot of work to do, but if I didn’t believe in the new product and designs we have I would have gotten out of it. There’s room for niche brands in the market, and we’re bringing some cool stuff. We’ve got more engineers on our team now than we’ve ever had. That’s one of the benefits of the new ownership. You’ll see some pretty cool stuff out of us.”

Comments

AlanM - 01/21/14 - 11:46am

“We’re setting up our business in Delaware, but it’s owned by a factory out of Taiwan that will largely remain anonymous. From the consumer end, it’s a U.S. company and will remain that way.”

I’d love a bit more clarification on this. Just telling me you’re a U.S. company and to pay no attention to the man behind the curtain doesn’t really work.

John - 01/21/14 - 12:03pm

I don’t have an issue with them working through a Taiwanese company. Any US-based bike company is essentially the same. R&D in the US, along with marketing and sales. Outsource manufacturing to Taiwan. This is the description for Trek, Specialized et al. No biggie.

I have a Blue Axino SL and had to go through a warranty replacement for paint issues once; they refused to warranty it a second time when the same issue cropped up again (paint chipping away at seams). I dealt directly with Stallings through this process and was very disappointed with the experience. It’d literally be months of me attempting to check in with no response.

If you’re a bike company, operating lean isn’t a great way to go about it, especially if you have any semblance of a customer base.

My Blue has held up, and maybe their build quality is fine, but I certainly wouldn’t recommend them based on the customer service experience.

Steven Harad - 01/21/14 - 12:33pm

Alan,

Fair question and understood. The Taiwan investors own the factory we use to assemble our bikes so they are heavily invested already in our company. Daniel and I are 100% available from this side of the world so if you have any questions, feel free to contact me at Steve@rideblue.com

My direct # is 215.359.6964.

AlanM - 01/21/14 - 12:40pm

Just to clarify, I have no issue with bikes being produced overseas or any of that. I was just confused by the wording of the statement, that’s all.

Colin - 01/21/14 - 1:15pm

Trek still makes a few bikes in the US… and rims…

Steve @ G4G - 01/21/14 - 2:20pm

Great news. I love my Norcross SP, so I’m happy to see these guys back. Good luck!

emacdo - 01/21/14 - 3:56pm

Best of luck to you guys. I also love my Norcross SP – it’s a workhorse and has taken a ton of abuse.

Regarding contract manufacturing, if you own the design, material and manufacturing specs then there’s not much difference compared to in-house (besides a whole lot of savings and economies of scale that presumably you can then pass on), unless you’re comparing to a full custom shop, which, of course, is not a fair comparison.

Thumper McDonut - 01/21/14 - 5:14pm

Cool bikes. Always have been. But reading Steve’s statements in the article made me think of the picture of the Iraqi defense minister saying everything is ok with Baghdad in ruins behind him… That, and the nationality of a company owned by both a dubious Taiwanese holding corp and a Taiwanese factory seems pretty clear: it’s Taiwanese. With American representatives. Again, not that there’s anything wrong with that, except for the deceitful seeming nature of how it’s described.

A. - 01/21/14 - 7:48pm

What happened to the women’s team that paid money for bikes that never showed up?

http://www.bicycleretailer.com/industry-news/2013/09/12/divine-cycling-group-turmoil-continues-blue-block-serotta-divided#.Ut8VC8s8KSN

dw - 01/21/14 - 10:17pm

everyone I know says http://www.asahibike.com is the new owner… guess they are funding it and the ones owed a lot of money from the last run of bikes that never arrived

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