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Old 03-30-03, 07:47 PM   #1
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Who owns who in the bike business?

I'm becoming intrigued by the whole question of who actually owns what bike company, and why the businesses try to keep it not obvious. We know about Schwinn and other failing companies being bought out by the "We ship to the discount-marts" company, but Jamis is owned by a company that makes kid's toy bikes according to LBS. How about some of the other companies? How many are independent? Who owns what?
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Old 03-30-03, 07:52 PM   #2
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Pacific owns Schwinn and GT
Trek owns Fisher and Klein
Marita owns Specialized
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Old 03-30-03, 08:04 PM   #3
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Pacific owns Schwinn and GT
Trek owns Fisher and Klein
Marita owns Specialized
Trek owns Lemond, also
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Old 03-30-03, 08:07 PM   #4
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Originally posted by WorldIRC
Pacific owns Schwinn and GT
Pacific? Gah, there's a name that brings back memories....of when I was a Toys R Us clerk. Toy shop bikes at bike shop prices......

Hey, who owns Dynacraft, Roadmaster and Rand?

I heard that Huffy bought out Gerry baby products back then (or was it the other way around?)
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Old 03-30-03, 08:11 PM   #5
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In Canada, Norco distributes Haro.
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Old 03-30-03, 08:18 PM   #6
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Pacific owns Schwinn and GT
Trek owns Fisher and Klein
Marita owns Specialized
Last I heard, Merida was a major investor, but not the majority owner, of Specialized.

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Old 03-30-03, 08:21 PM   #7
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I've heard Trek was a Schwinn break off "back in the day." Schwinn made small companies to try new technology so if it didn't work or they got sued, they would just abandon the company instead of it taking away from the mother company. I think Trek was one of those companies. Also, I've heard giant makes frames for 7 other companies. This info is from my LBS owner, but I don't know for sure.

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Old 03-30-03, 08:25 PM   #8
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Originally posted by Middi-zon
I've heard Trek was a Schwinn break off "back in the day." Schwinn made small companies to try new technology so if it didn't work or they got sued, they would just abandon the company instead of it taking away from the mother company. I think Trek was one of those companies. Also, I've heard giant makes frames for 7 other companies. This info is from my LBS owner, but I don't know for sure.

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I read the book No Hands: the Rise and Fall of Schwinn, and Trek was only mentioned as a competitor. The book didn't say anything about Schwinn having 'experimental' branches at all. What did happen, though, is that the Chinese company who began making Schwinn's offshore products had a spat with them and broke off to become Giant.
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Old 03-30-03, 08:33 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jean Beetham Smith
Jamis is owned by a company that makes kid's toy bikes according to LBS.
I bet it wasn't a shop that actually carries Jamis.

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Old 03-30-03, 08:34 PM   #10
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So my LBS is just giving me BS, wouldn't be the first time, but they're great on maintenance.

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Old 03-30-03, 09:38 PM   #11
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Trek is a privately held company with $400M in annual gross sales and 7 overseas subsidiaries. Trek owns 3 other major US bicycle brands: Gary Fisher, LeMond, and Klein along with a small Swiss brand called Villiger. It also owns Bontrager design. 70% of the company is still owned by the Burke family. Dick Burke founded the company and his son John is the current president.
A little more history of Trek is here: http://www.vintage-trek.com/TREK_History1.pdf

Here are a few more....

- Huffy owns Huffy
- Pacific Bicycles owns: Schwinn, GT and Mongoose
- Pegasus Partners now owns Cannondale
- K2 acquired and renamed ProFlex
- Raleigh owns Diamondback and Univega
- American Bicycle Group owns: Litespeed, Merlin, Quintana Roo and Tomac

Now, what you'd also want to know is who actually makes whose frames and bicycles?
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Old 03-30-03, 10:53 PM   #12
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Three of the major on-line merchants are related.

Performance owns Bike Nashbar.

The group that funds Performance just acquired an interest in Supergo.

Yet all three are run independently, so far.
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Old 03-30-03, 11:40 PM   #13
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Huffy owns Airborne Its true!
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Old 03-31-03, 12:03 AM   #14
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Yup those who ride Airborne are riding titanium Huffy's LOL
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Old 03-31-03, 01:12 AM   #15
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Huffy recently sold Airborne back to its founder, and Merida has a Minority stake in Specialized. Mike Sinyard ponied up a bunch of his own cash so they would not have control of the company.
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Old 03-31-03, 11:07 AM   #16
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Originally posted by Jean Beetham Smith
Who owns what?
I own it.

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Old 03-31-03, 11:28 AM   #17
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Originally posted by stumpjumper
Huffy owns Airborne Its true!
Not. Airborne was bought back from Huffy by its original owner and founder, Jamie Raddin.

Raddin has been the CEO throughout, and Huffy's ownership had no real effect on the business model of the company or the quality of its products. The Huffy deal, as I understand it, was a way to pump some capital into Airborne while giving Huffy ownership of Airborne's e-business, which was a big deal at the time of the purchase.

When the bottom fell out of e-commerce, Huffy apparently lost interest.

Airborne's design, assembly, and finishing operations at their Ohio plant, and their frame manufacturing in China, have been operated the same way before, during, and since the Huffy era.

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Old 03-31-03, 11:42 AM   #18
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Yeah I heard Airborne uses prison labor or somesuch in China? Rumor? Fact?
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Old 03-31-03, 01:21 PM   #19
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Yeah I heard Airborne uses prison labor or somesuch in China? Rumor? Fact?
Of course it's a rumor. Sadly (and I know this from personal experience) quite a few bike shop owners seemed threatened enough by Airborne's business model (and their success) that they were willing to say anything to keep people from buying them.

Airborne has had to counter your specific rumor a number of times online by pointing out that the workers at the factory that produces thair frames are highly skilled and highly paid (relative to their own economy).

I don't plan to get into the politics of buying Chinese-made products; such a discussion would rightly be off-topic here.

It's interesting, however, that this "slave labor" accusation so infrequently arises concerning products that everybody buys. Look at your clothes, electronics, computer parts, tools, and a thousand other things to see how many are made in China. If "slave labor" is involved, isn't it a lot more likely it's being used to manufacture t-shirts and screwdrivers than precision-welded titanium bike frames?

A company would have to be insane to issue a lifetime warranty on a product made by unwilling workers.

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Old 03-31-03, 02:10 PM   #20
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I worked for a Trek dealer back in their early years; there never was any connection at all to Schwinn. There are a lot of false rumors about stuff like this; my favorite is the one a few years ago about Nike buying Specialized!
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Old 03-31-03, 02:12 PM   #21
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A vintage-era jail worker rumor: Bikes built in Italy by the Rizatto company (Atala, Girardengo, Ligie) were said to be built in the joint. When you think of it, what exquisite torture to make prisoners--Italians building bike frames and Yanks making license plates--build their respective cultures' symbols of freedom and mobility!
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Old 04-01-03, 07:38 AM   #22
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Jamis is a bike line that was created and is distributed by G. Jannou Co. They also have a line of parts and accesories they sell to shops. Similar to but not as big as KHS. Also although this does not apply to all bicycle brands, Kalloy, Kinesis, KHS, and Giant build alot of companies frames.
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Old 04-01-03, 09:13 AM   #23
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I see a parallel between bike and computer industry.

Better to own Shimano and have a part on every bike than make the bike.

Better to own Microsoft and have something on every computer than to make the computer.

thoughts?
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Old 04-01-03, 09:57 AM   #24
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Diamondback has a good fix on this; one company that appears to stay financially sound in the bike business is Shimano, no matter what befalls any bike manufacturer. At any given time, I can have bikes from $100 to $5k waiting for work in my shop and they'll all be Shimano equipped; now that's market dominance! Unlike Microsoft they support older product. 7 and 8 speed cassettes are still available as are hub parts, chainrings, etc., for past models of component. Another interesting business model on a much smaller scale is Ritchey--his idea was itself modeled on Cinelli, who could get away with making small numbers of very high-quality bikes by making or contracting for parts to sell to companies that make thousands of bikes instead of dozens;
when I started cycling every good bike on the road (almost) had Cinelli handlebars and stem, now dozens of new bike models are sold with Ritchey bars, stems, saddles, tape, tires, tubes, wheelsets, cranks--you get the idea.
Tom Ritchey owns his company.
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Old 04-01-03, 12:29 PM   #25
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If Microsoft made my bike I'd walk or drive. I can't imagine crashing twice a day just because the bike felt like it.
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