This thread is to split off from the thread on the future of Time Sport because that future has now been decided. Time Sport is no more. Time Sport as we knew it has been split into two groups with Time Bicycles being the entity who will continue on making Time frames, complete bikes, and other frame hardware components (forks, headsets, stems, handlebars).
The announcement of the sale of the frame business to Cardinal Cycling Group is here: https://www.bicycleretailer.com/industr ... time-sport
Of note was some information at the bottom of the Bicycle Retailer article on SRAM's purchase of the Time pedal business from Rossignol.
I am curious as exactly what the lack of US inventory means regarding the "brand new slate" statement.Cardinal hopes to rejuvenate Time's bike business
Despite Rossignol's hopes to diversify its offerings and grow Time's business, the brand failed to thrive at Rossignol. Its Europe-made frames and bikes couldn't compete on price with Asia-made offerings. After Cattin's death, Time appeared slow to innovate or to respond to market shifts toward gravel bikes and road bikes with clearance wider tires. By early 2020 Rossignol started exploring plans to restructure or sell the business and revealed that Time sales had dropped by almost half in the previous year.
In June 2020, Rossignol announced it had agreed to sell Time to WhaTTfornow, a four-year-old French e-bike brand. But WhaTTfornow failed to raise the funds necessary to complete the purchase and eventually Cardinal Cycling Group stepped in.
Cardinal Cycling Group's founders are U.S. industry veteran Tony Karklins and French engineer Martial Trigeaud. Karklins is well known in the U.S. industry as the former head of Orbea's U.S. business and as the founder and former CEO of HIA Velo, the parent of Allied Cycle Works. Karklins, who lives in Little Rock, Arkansas, left HIA in 2018.
Cardinal purchased Time's bike business in late January and immediately took over distribution of Time bikes. Trigeaud quickly flew to Slovakia after the purchase to oversee production, Karklins told BRAIN. Time now has about 50 U.S. dealers and Karklins said initially U.S. dealer frame orders are being drop-shipped from a central warehouse in Europe. Eventually the brand may keep bike inventory in the U.S. as well, he said.
Karklins said Time’s biggest markets remain Europe and Asia, making the U.S. market a new opportunity. He said Time has a good inventory of frames in Europe but the U.S. inventory of Time frames is “squeaky clean,” giving the brand a clean slate to start over here.
Time also has distributors in about 35 countries.
He acknowledged that since Cattin’s death, Time had failed to keep up with trends. He hopes to change that soon.
“We’re investing a lot in product development right now and we’ll be working to put new designs into production in the second half of the year,” he said.
After Karklins left Allied he founded ACK Enterprises, which distributes Frog juvenile bikes and other products to U.S. dealers.
He said Time’s carbon factory is still cutting edge and “a finely tuned machine.”
“The factory was one of the main reasons we wanted to purchase Time,” he said. He said the new owners are retaining all the factory’s workers.
Trigeaud moved to Little Rock a few years back because his wife's career brought her there. He worked in Arkansas as business consultant and an adjunct professor at the University of Arkansas. He and Karklins met there and formed a friendship that led to the joint bid for Time, Karklins told BRAIN.
Trigeaud, who serves as CEO of Cardinal Cycling Group, said, "Having grown up in France, cycling has always been part of my life. I have always had a strong passion for Time because this brand, through its history, is a legacy of French cycling heritage throughout the world. I am honored to become its ambassador and to shape its future."
More importantly though, I am happy to hear they are keeping the factory in Slovakia, have retained all of the factory employees, and are already investing in product development to leverage the first two items into their future products.
Will be interesting to see how soon it is until we hear or see anything about future products are due to go into production in the "second half of the year".
Time Bicycles' new website is here: https://www.timebicycles.com