LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (BRAIN) — TIME Bicycles is officially re-entering the US market under new ownership and with a new IBD sales group. For the first time since the brand was acquired from Groupe Rossignol, it will have complete bikes, a new gravel model and US frame supply.
“There was a long list of things that we didn’t have until now,” said Tony Karklins, CEO of Cardinal Cycling Group, which bought the brand from Groupe Rossignol last year.
Time continues to make frames at its factory in Slovakia; Complete bikes are being assembled for the USA at a new facility in Arkansas.
Cardinal has hired Velo Premiere, a new company started by Lori Barrett of Rotor Bike Components, to handle IBD’s US sales.
Since the acquisition, much of TIME’s production has gone to the European and Asian markets, with some frames shipped directly from the factory to US distributors. Now TIME has frame sets in stock, with complete bikes expected in the middle of the month.
The bikes will feature SRAM and Campagnolo groupsets, HED wheels, Deda cockpits and Goodyear tires. Complete bike pre-orders start May 6.
Velo Premiere will manage IBD’s inside and outside sales and fulfill TIME’s orders from the European factory and Arkansas facility.
“We are delighted to be working with TIME Bicycles,” said Barrett. “As one of the most prestigious brands in cycling, TIME is a perfect fit for our services at Velo Premiere. Since TIME’s production is 100% in Europe, we know its quality and technology are second to none. And as we all know, now is a good time to have a supply chain that is not affected by delays in Asian factories. We are excited to support this legendary brand in bike shops across the country.”
In addition to IBD sales, TIME sells bikes and frames from its own website. Some brick-and-mortar merchants will also be allowed to sell online at full price, Karklins said, but TIME won’t be available from any big e-commerce retailers or third-party online providers.
Karklins said that the production rate of TIME frames in Gajary, Slovakia, is more or less the same as it was during the height of TIME’s popularity when it was owned by its founder, Roland Cattin. Production is now about double the rate it was when Cardinal bought TIME from Rossignol, he said. While capacity is limited to about 5,000 framesets a year, TIME hasn’t had any of the supply-chain issues Asian manufacturers face, he said, other than component shortages until recently.