Interesting news day. For starters, Hammerhead—makers of the Karoo 2, which we named a 2021 Gear of the Year award winner—was acquired by SRAM. I think this is good news. It’s an impressive GPS device and this could lead to some interesting integration with a mobile app, as well SRAM’s AXS ecosystem. According to the press release, “SRAM saw tremendous potential in Hammerhead after the award-winning cycling GPS computer (the Karoo 2) hit the market in late 2020 and landed on the handlebars of many of the world’s top athletes. In just the last year, Hammerhead achieved 7x revenue growth and their community of riders have clocked over a million hours of gravel, concrete, and trails covered… Together, SRAM and Hammerhead will continue to develop an innovative cycling technology platform ensuring riders can seamlessly integrate with a wide variety of existing hardware and software products and services including both Shimano and SRAM electronic shifting.”
The other interesting release came from Kona, who announced its merger with Kent Outdoors (Formerly Kent Watersports). I suspect this is timely growth buyout and won’t have much of an impact on Kona’s positioning or excellent bikes. From the press release: “Kent is committed to ensuring we get to keep using our own special recipe when it comes to making great bikes—a lot of hard work, a little bit of weird, and a whole lot of good times. Our new CEO, Ken Meidell, is a lifelong cyclist. His history and experience leading respected outdoor brands like Dakine, Outerbike, Outdoor Research, and Cascade Designs sets us up for success and growth through our ever-expanding customer base and sales channels. He’s already accepted our invitations to join us on a bunch of our rides, be it exploring our favorite loamy singletrack, chugging gravel bikes up way-too-steep climbs, or partaking in the after-work pub crawl.”
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