- December 4, 2017 at 9:04 am #818282
“DENVER, Colo. (BRAIN) — Niner Inc. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Monday ahead of a planned acquisition by a Colorado investor group.”December 5, 2017 at 10:00 am #818288
Can’t say I’m at all surprised. Niner pinned themselves into a niche market initially, making bikes not many others were making. As geo and tech progressed for larger wheels, their market grew and their hold of it shrunk significantly. WFO wasn’t enough to stop sales going to hightowers/tallboys, SB5s, Enduro29ers, etc which are by most accounts just as good if not better, with more modern geo and a larger range of choices, for less money. The 27.5+ thing was a half assed attempt to get into another wheelsize, and they dropped the ball big time with 27.5″ which sees great sales in the enduro segment.
So you’re left with just one wheelsize, bikes with slightly dated geo and designs, which cost much more than most of the competition. What did they expect? No pro race team, very little race involvement for marketing, and they supported IMBA instead of other groups (not a big deal to some, but it is to some people in the US).
Now their apparent solution is to introduce womens bikes, kids bikes, and e-bikes. While these segments are real, they don’t suit the market Niner has made for itself (high end). Women racers get on just fine on normal bikes, kids market for high end is extremely limited, and e-bikes isn’t going to light their sales on fire. I predict this company is sold in 10 years or less if this is their direction for growth. If they acutally wanted to save the company, they need to introduce 27.5″ enduro/trail bikes, get aluminum frames for the midrange market. Invest in some riders that actually race, and get involved in the community outside of Colorado by way of supporting races/events/etc not just IMBA which is becoming a thorn to a lot of riders in the US.
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