Friday, May 24, 2024

Friday News And Views

Happy Industry News, Aggro Birds,  & "Wild" Anodized Stuff:

Kona Bicycles Back In Founders Hands:

Monday morning news came out that the beleaguered Kona Bicycles company that was being shut down and put up for sale by its owner, Kent Outdoors, was bought back by the brand's founders. The brand was sold in 2022 by Kona founders Jake Heilbron and Dan Gerhard, according to a news story published by "Bicycle Retailer and Industry News" on Monday morning.  

Apparently the originators of the brand were let down by the Kent Outdoors group which they thought would uphold the culture and status of Kona which they had crafted over the years. That didn't turn out to be the case and when the company went up for sale Heilbron and Gerhard bought it back.

According to the article, Kona has ceased direct to consumer sales and is saying that they will work through current inventory through established dealers only. 

Comments: First it was the British brand Orange, and now Kona, which has come back from the brink of extinction. Can Heilbron and Gerhard regain the former stature the company enjoyed with consumers in the past? They have a chance, but the deep discounting, direct to consumer sales, and recent turmoil set the hurdles pretty high.

Image of GT by Jason Boucher

You Already Knew This, But.....

Another story was posted on a study of cyclists and health benefits recently. The story on this study appeared in an NPR article which you can read HERE

This time it has to do with your knees and arthritic issues. Apparently the motion of cycling helps distribute an essential lubricating fluid for joints and builds muscle strength around knees which may help prevent arthritic issues from arising. 

The article doesn't say anything related to nut-jobs on single speed bikes though. (HA!) It is a commonly held thought by cyclists that single speed riding is bad for your knees. I've seen evidence that would say otherwise, but as with most topics, there is more gray areas than there are black and white ones when it comes to a subject like this one. All I know is that single speed riding big miles, or pushing a "big gear" on a geared bike, or hard riding into the wind, (or snow, or mud) for too long can be a problem for knees or any other parts of the body as well. You've gotta do things in moderation. Balance. Rest. It all can be good in the correct measures. 

New Podcast Episode Out Now!

I had the distinct honor to have Sam Alison of Singular Cycles on the latest podcast episode. It was a pleasure to speak with him since I have interacted with Sam since the mid-2000's in online forums and via emails. 

We chatted about his company, Singular Cycles, and we walked through a bit of how Sam saw his bikes and what they should be used for. Remarkably, it fits what the "gravel" bike should be in a more universal sense in my opinion versus the specialization that is occurring in that sector now. 

We also get into a bit of flared drop bar history as Sam was tabbed by cycling component and bicycle designer, Brant Richards, to be involved in the design of the Luxy Bar. A handle bar that Sam rightly points out has influenced a lot of what we see now in flared drop bar design for the gravel segment. 

Give the episode a listen. I also get into a bit of opinion on the upcoming Unbound gravel event at the end of this one. A more detailed look at my thoughts can be seen in a post from this blog HERE if you are interested in taking a deeper dive on that. Thanks for checking out the podcast, if you do, and as always, thanks for reading here!

A Red-winged Blackbird. (Image courtesy of Wikipedia)

Those Devilish Scourges Of The Sky:

Tis the season, as they say, for what has become an issue for many who ply the back roads on their bicycles. I'm speaking of the ever-vigilant Red-winged Blackbird. 

I wrote a post back four years ago about my tactics for dealing with these sometimes aggressive animals during cycling outings. It seems to have become an annually "most clicked on" article here, so I thought I would point it out again for anyone who was not aware of the post so that you can check it out if you want to. Just click HERE to go read that.  

And if you have any ideas that differ from mine, please add those in the comments here on today's post and I will make an update to the original post if those ideas seem to check out as good ones. Thanks! 

Wilde X Paul Zebra Splatter Ano Parts:

Wilde Bikes announced Thursday that they have done another collaboration with Paul Components on some crazy "splatter" anodized parts. This time in black with white looking strips of color in random patterns. 

These parts are in very limited quantities and being Paul Components, not exactly "budget friendly" either with prices varying from $170.00 for a stem to $350.00 for a set of brake cantilever arms. 

There may not be anything left in some cases but here are the original numbers for manufacture from Wilde's press release: Stems: 70, Brake sets: 6, Seat posts: 10, and Love Levers sets: 5. 

The product page is HERE if you are interested in taking a look.

 That is a wrap on things for this week. Thanks as always for reading the blog! Have a safe and wonderful Memorial Day Weekend - for those who observe this - and get out and ride those bicycles!

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