Mountain Cycle, the mid-sized mountain bike builder who revolutionized
the stodgy stick-figure hardtail with its monocoque San Andreas dual-suspension chassis–and led the way with the first functional hydraulic disc brakes and inverted suspension forks, has been sold to Kinesis USA. If Kinesis doesn’t ring a bell, then you should know that the Oregon-based frame manufacturer supplies pro-level chassis for Bianchi, Diamondback, GT, Mongoose, Peugeot, Raleigh, Santa Cruz, Schwinn, Specialized, Storck, Trek–and the list keeps going.
Robert Reisinger, Mountain Cycle’s founder and principle creative force, will move with the company to Kinesis’ Portland facility. Mountain Cycle was formed in the late 1980’s as a vehicle for Reisinger to introduce technologies that had been proven in other industries such as motorcycles and aerospace to bicycles. Many companies, large and small were influenced by the San Louis Obispo, California firm’s groundbreaking designs.
According to Michael Nover, Kinesis USA’s Chief Operating Officer: “It
should be a very synergistic relationship. We think we can help Mountain Cycle achieve the level of production it has been striving for all these years. It was hindered in the past by a lack of capital and a low economy of scale. We plan to help in both areas, giving the company a financial boost, and taking advantage of the fact that in our US facility we produce many more frames per year than Mountain Cycle, thus making us more efficient.”
The new Mountain Cycle will begin by producing the current line of frames with little change. For model year 2003, it will likely introduce some new models along with updates to existing ones. The frames will continue to be made in the USA. Mountain Cycle’s Monocoque expertise is the plum that will definitely find its way to sweeten other Kinesis products. Nover says: “We saw this as an opportunity to bring our own capabilities and technologies to the next level. Robert is a very talented engineer and designer and will contribute a huge amount to making us a more progressive and dynamic frame manufacturer. We want to integrate a lot of the core
Mountain Cycle technologies and processes into our OE frame business.”
Kinesis also functions as a think tank and proving ground, that enables its parent company’s larger interests in China and Taiwan to take advantage of the many innovations that flow through their USA plant. Tom Jeng, Chief Executive Officer of Kinesis Industry Co. Ltd., Kinesis USA’s parent company sees relatively little immediate change for the companies’ Pacific Rim factories. Jeng says: “In the long run, we certainly hope our Asian factories will share the innovations Mountain Cycle will bring to Kinesis USA. We have used Kinesis USA as a pilot plant for many new developments in the past. In the short term though, we don’t anticipate much, if any difference.”
Reisinger is confident that the acquisition of Mountain Cycle by Kinesis will result in bigger production numbers and better bicycles–all made in the USA. Sales to individual customers will halt, but dealers will benefit from the increase in production.
“Mountain Cycle’s? move from California to Oregon has been a big effort,? Reisinger states, ?and we expect to be taking sales orders in early 2002.?
For more information contact Kinesis at 503-294-1012, ext12 or for the latest up-to-date information go to www.MountainCycle.com. For the present time, you can also contact Mountain Cycle at (503) 294-1012 ex12.