Posts in the category Interviews

How Rumbleship is changing the relationship between brand & local bike shop

rumbleship-brand-to-retailer-online-wholesale-gateway

Personally, I’m fascinated by anyone that can create a new business model for an existing industry and change the way it operates, improving or creating opportunities for others to succeed while making a living for themselves. In business and running for two years, Rumbleship has been steadily building an alternate supply chain and ensuring that their back end system would run smoothly as they grew. Now, they’re starting the outreach to build awareness among retailers. That growth, and a chance encounter at Sea Otter, led to this story.

Rumbleship’s raison d’etre is “to serve the independent bike dealer,” said Alex Lugosch, co-founder. “We’re a marketplace for brands and dealers, and we make money on interest from the loans to retailers. The twist is that the dealers aren’t paying the interest, the brand is by offering a small discount off their invoice to Rumbleship. So, it’s not a sales commission because Rumbleship pays the brand immediately after the order is placed and then floats the money until the retailer pays the invoice. Rumbleship takes all the risk and covers all credit card fees.

So, what’s the benefit to independent bike shop? To the brands? Lots of things…

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Interview / Factory Tour: Zen Fabrications with David Woronets

Zen fab factory

David Woronets joined the industry in a way a lot of ex-elite racers have: he needed a winter job. But unlike a lot of those ex-racers, David found himself compelled by manufacturing and development of the physical product. After moving around the industry and after working for Elsworth for several years, David saw an opportunity for a job shop model of domestic manufacturing and jumped at it.

Five years after purchasing equipment from Elsworth, David and his team have established Zen as a viable alternative to overseas manufacturing. At NAHBS this year, Zen released their full line of house product, realizing a long desire of David’s to produce his own product… READ MORE ->

Interview: Jeremy Dunn of The Athletic

The Athletic stay wild socks

It may have started with some jokes over beers, but in just over a year and a half, Jeremy Dunn and Julie Krasniak have developed The Athletic to encompass a portfolio of high-fashion cycling socks and casual and athletic apparel available for purchase online or in The Athletic’s Northwest Portland store. The product is colorful, sophisticated, and engaging, and regularly seen on industry taste-makers and pros on and off the course.

BIKERUMOR: Why are you called “The Athletic?”

JEREMY: The reason why we called ourselves The Athletic was my wife was a professional cyclist for many years in France, I worked for Rapha and in the bike industry since about 2000, got my start at Ben’s (in Milwaukee)- but the idea behind The Athletic was to start to branch out and be able to incorporate other sports, basketball, we do a lot of trail running in the winter… just be able to encompass sport in general… READ MORE ->

Interview: Natalie Ramsland of Sweetpea Bicycles Talks New Brand Direction and Her Trouble Maker

Sweetpea Trouble Maker 3

Frustrated with the experiential gap between the women and men on bikes around her she saw as a messenger, Natalie Ramsland of Sweetpea studied fit under Michael Sylvester (co-founder of the Serotta fit school) and went to UBI in order to learn to create the bike/rider experiences she wanted to see for women in the world.

Ten years on, Natalie works to expand her effect by stepping back from the torch. Working with builders such as Co-Motion and Land Shark for frame construction and Gladys Bikes of Portland as her public portal and fit-studio, Natalie is able to focus on bicycle design for her individual consumers- though, she’s certainly not done building. READ MORE ->

The Bike That Got Away With Sky Boyer Of Velo Cult: Part 2

velocult sky boyer hanebrink 8

“The Bike That Got Away” is a series of interviews intended to showcase the best bikes of all time from the perspective of the diverse characters that make up the cycling industry. It’s an opportunity to look back fondly (or not at all) on vintage technology, paint jobs – whatever made or continues to make bikes compelling and awesome. These are the bikes that have shaped us as industry members, dealers, cyclists, and super fans.

Read Part 1 of this piece to get up to speed. 

Now for part two, we’ll dive into more about that wild Hanebrink fat bike we briefly covered at Sea Otter…

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The Bike that Got Away with Sky Boyer of Velo Cult: Part 1

Velo Cult Sky Boyer Slingshot

“The Bike That Got Away” is a series of interviews intended to showcase the best bikes of all time from the perspective of the diverse characters that make up the cycling industry. It’s an opportunity to look back fondly (or not at all) on vintage technology, paint jobs – whatever made or continues to make bikes compelling and awesome. These are the bikes that have shaped us as industry members, dealers, cyclists, and super fans.

Within hours of rolling into Portland a few weeks ago I found myself at Velo Cult, part bike shop, part tavern, part freaking unbelievable mountain bike museum owned by Sky Boyer – ex-racer, hot pink bike aficionado (at one point, he had eight because “no one bags on your pink bike when you beat them”), and bike collector (part of his collection was on display with Subaru at Sea Otter). Still recovering from a concussion the week before, I found myself having to repeatedly sit down and take breaks from being so overwhelmed by the extremely technologically and historically significant bikes on the ceiling of the shop…

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Exclusive! Chris Currie’s all-new full suspension design is unlike anything you’ve ever seen

Chris Currie mountain bike suspension patent drawings

Editor’s Note: Chris Currie has been in the industry for years, many of which he’s spent quietly designing, patenting and slowly but surely developing his own full suspension platform. In this new series, he’ll give us a peek inside the process of creating something new, the myriad ways to bring it to market and the challenges of it all. Without further ado, here’s Chris:

Eighteen years ago, I started an online bike shop called Speedgoat out of an old one-room schoolhouse in the mountains of Southwestern PA. I didn’t have “start-up capital,” a background in web development, or a business degree. All I really had was an obsession with bikes and a wife who was just crazy enough to go along with me. For fourteen years we worked with the best companies in the bike business, building up thousands of custom bikes for riders around the world. We knew the names of our customers’ dogs, even if the customers lived thousands of miles away. It was that kind of business.

In 2010 I sold the company to people I thought could take it to the next level, but they were a trainwreck. Frustrated with the new owners, I left in 2011. In the years since, I moved west to manage sales, marketing, and customer service for Velotech in Portland, Oregon, while moonlighting for Stan’s NoTubes, where I’m now Creative Director. Through it all, one personal project that started at Speedgoat ten years ago has stayed with me. I had an idea for a bike.

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Shop Profile and Interview: Gladys Bikes and Leah Benson

Gladys Bikes Leah

Though just over a year and a half old, it’s clear that Gladys Bikes has already begun to make its mark on the Portland riding community (while recently visiting the city, it was the most recommended shop to visit by the women I spoke with). Rather than being adapting a current model, the shop, brainchild of Leah Benson, was designed from scratch with significant feedback from community members and focus groups to start valuable conversations about bike fit and comfort across price points, disciplines, and facets.

Though named for the personal bicycle of Frances E. Willard, suffragette, and founded to address opportunities within the equipment and experience of women on bikes, the shop manages to be inviting and effective for any person of any gender or riding experience…

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Interview: Jude Gerace of Sugar Wheelworks

Sugar Wheelworks Jude

In a compact studio workshop in North Portland, Jude Gerace of Sugar Wheelworks tailors wheels in the way that small builders tailor frames and bicycles. Working with each customer individually she sets out to build wheels to match the rider, context, and machine as a package. Jude backs up her consultations with extensive metallurgical testing and close collaborations with local engineers as well as a sophisticated wheel “taste testing” program so that customers can be confident in every aspect of the decision and purchasing process.

Jude talks about her process, advocacy, and bike touring after The Jump. READ MORE ->