Cervélo goes Dutch

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Cervélo was a two man start-up company in 1995 and now the bike company is being sold to Dutch conglomerate Pon.

Pon was started in 1895 by Dutchman Mijndert Pon and soon began importing Opel bicycles from Germany. This connection with Germany grew and it started importing Continental tyres in 1920. Today this connection exists even more as it is the main distributor for VW-Audi (Volkswagen, Audi, Porsche, Skoda, Seat) in the Netherlands and it continues to distribute Continental in the Netherlands. It also handles Caterpillar and Man trucks. As well as this it owns several bike brands including Gazelle and is completing the acquisition of Derby Cycles, better known for its Focus brand as used by the Katusha team in 2011, as well as Raleigh and Univega.

Little else is known about the Pon acquisition of Cervélo, simply that the two companies have entered into an exclusive agreement and based on this, it seems highly likely that Pon will buy the company. Normally this sort of holding announcement is released whilst lawyers and accountants are sent in to look at the books and check the contracts. Short of a nasty surprise, Cervélo will become a Dutch brand in early 2012.

Cervélo itself has become a more complex company in the past 15 years. With its Canadian roots, the firm has R&D facilities in California and is registered as a Swiss company. Almost all its frames are made by third party producers, for example by Ten Tech Composites, the Taiwanese OEM with plants in China that also manufactures frames for the likes of Scott and Cannondale, to name just two brands.

Sales have boomed but behind the scenes the ownership has been changing and now it looks like Cervélo will become a Dutch-owned business. A valuable name within the sport for its high-end frames, it seems likely that Pon will look to exploit the premium brand via its sales channels. It could mean the frames become more widely distributed.

I’ll be interested to see how Cervélo fits alongside Focus and whether the company retains its quirky nature and focus on engineering. At fist glance the fear is that the individuality of the company could go as it becomes a brand alongside others, from race bikes to electric shipping bikes. But look no further than Cannondale which belongs to Canadian conglomerate Dorel Industries and sits alongside pushchairs and home furnishings, as well as bike brands like Schwinn and GT and yet retains a degree of independence and continues to develop frames at the cutting edge.

At the margin this is good for the Garmin-Cervélo pro team as the new owner will have deeper pockets and should be keen to promote the brand but that’s thinking too many steps ahead for now. Nevertheless Cervélo’s finances had caused its proprietary “test team” to be merged with the Garmin/Slipstream team for the 2011 season, as a cost-cutting exercise.

Ongoing trends
Looking more broadly this deals marks another moment of consolidation in the cycle trade where small companies are bought up and become brands within a portfolio. There are now several companies owning a range of brands. Cycle Europe owns Bianchi, Peugot and Gitane; Mavic is part of the same stable as Salomon skis and Wilson tennis rackets; Giro and Bell helmets are the same company. You can see more on the ownership of these brands at the Who Makes What page.

  • 20 February 2012: the deal is done and Pon now owns Cervélo.
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{ 44 comments }

Torben Putkonen December 28, 2011 at 9:02 am

Maybe they need a cash injection to take their business to the next level? Maybe Mssrs Vroomen and White just want to cash out some of the money they have invested in the company during the last 16 years. I wouldn’t get too excited about this. It is probably just “business as usual.”

The Inner Ring December 28, 2011 at 9:35 am

Torben Putkonen: yes, lots to see. If it was just a cash injection they could sell new shares in the company to Pon in exchange for the money. But Pon and Cervelo are talking about a sale of the whole business. Note also that Vroomen and White have been selling down their stakes in the company, the latest release from Switzerland shows Vroomen quit his official executive role in the business in August.

Andy R December 28, 2011 at 10:42 am

Will Vroomen and White stay on?

Ali December 28, 2011 at 11:43 am

I really cannot understand the fuss about Cervelo, a bike rides so stiff life a iron bar, mass produced in China for around 300$ a frame and sold for 2000% margins. whether the owners are dutch or canadian, same overpriced product with little justification for it.
(I will most likely be hammered now by so many hedge fund cyclist , so called Cervelo owners club :(

Larry T. December 28, 2011 at 11:43 am

Interesting news, thanks for the update. As most probably know Vroomen’s blog http://gerard.cc/this-is-my-personal-voice/ has been mum about any of this. Sounds like a “take the money and run” deal when the founders/owners figure they’ve taken the brand as far as they can and max’d out the value so “cash out now while you can” as the corporate mindset dictates. Ironically, Gerard’s come off as a bit of a moralist on his blog about what others should do as to sponsoring women’s cycling teams, etc. He’s promised to explain how pro cycling works but then not followed through – probably too busy arranging this deal? On the other side of all this is SOPWAMTOS, http://www.sopwamtos.com/sort of the anti-Cervelo.
As for Cervelo itself, to me it’s just another “designer” brand like most of the Asian-made bikes…seems like one pays a LOT of extra dough for something not much (if at all) different from a generic carbon frame purchased directly from one of the Asian makers. I’m sort of surprised more racers don’t emulate Eddy Merckx (unless they get the big-brand bikes free or get paid to ride ‘em) and put their own name (or the name of their team, etc. ) on the frame rather than advertise for these large bike companies – who do WHAT for them exactly? Same with bike shops..plenty of shops here in Italy brand these things with their own names the same way they did when they actually had an in-house guy mitering and brazing up frames in the shop.

Euan December 28, 2011 at 12:59 pm

Larry, Gerard has not been involved in that aspect of the company for a while. Look to when he started blogging and becoming more vocal about pro cycling to when his running of Cervelo ended.

Ali December 28, 2011 at 1:34 pm

Larry, I agree, I live in italy too and have the privilege access to bike manufacturing and secrets, it is (as we all know) a corrupt world , who pays more gets the ride . Cervelo test team folded dew to money issues, the bit more than they can chew. it is a matter of take the money and run.

Brian December 28, 2011 at 3:06 pm

Ali,

Don’t worry we all realize that your steel/Ti frame with Campangolo 8 speed makes you a true, genuine cyclist and that no one who has purchased a new bike within the last 20 years can possibily hope to obtain that status. By riding a lighter, stronger, more comfortable, and faster bike designed and made post fall of the Soviet Union we are all selling out our ability to be “real” cyclists. After all, those of us riding a carbon fiber frame, which ironically, include LeMond and Hinault on Look carbon in the mid-80s, are just a bunch of materialistic, narcissistic, wanna-be posers.

Signed,

Everyone that has purchased a bike within the last 20 years.

P.S. Cervelo’s don’t ride any stiffer than any other major brand carbon frame.

Chuck December 28, 2011 at 4:08 pm

Interesting post and comments. First, I regret to see further consolidation in the industry. Consolidation almost always brings fewer jobs, more shared designs, and a greater barrier to entry for smaller companies (the bigger the “big” buys, the tougher for the smaller guy to launch and gain volume).

Raleigh and Univega are Derby brands, along with Focus. Those brands are coming to PON as part of the Derby acquisition. This point is slightly mis-stated.

While the global trend toward using China as the worlds factory is disappointing, the comments contain some common mis-conceptions. Just because a product is produced in a 3rd-party Chinese factory does not mean it is not a unique design with the specifications developed and tested by the company (in this case Cervelo). Even most “Not Made in China” brands utilize a 3rd party manufacturer. Yes – at the low end companies often use an “off-the-shelf” design, but not typically at the higher end. Also, “mass production” is a function of sales volume, not manufacturing location. A frame is not “mass produced” unless it is “mass sold”. If a frame is sold is mass volumes, then it will be “mass produced” regardless of where the factory is located. I don’t think any of the Cervelo models sales would qualify for “mass production”.

There is also a mis-conception that if you sell something, you are “cashing out” and making a great deal of profit. It is quite possible, and common, for things to sell at near break-even or at a loss. Cervelo has grown dramatically since inception, but growth at this rate is very expensive. I have no details, but I suspect there is limited cash over and above debt acquisition in the deal. Gerard and Phil could have likely made more money over the same 15 year period working elsewhere and putting their savings in a jar.

Larry, if I am not mistaken, Eddy Merckx did not race on a frame with his name. The company was started after his retirement in 1978. If your question refers to pro racers, then I think you partly answer your own question. They are all paid to ride a particular brand (whether that payment is large as a primary sponsor, or small as a minor sponsor). Given that team sponsorship and/or a few wealthy benefactors are the only sources of income for most pro teams, these sponsorships are key to the survival of the professional sport. Teams seeking the best sponsorship deal possible to support the team isn’t corruption, its business.

James Fifield December 28, 2011 at 4:46 pm

Interesting to see the responses this piece has generated.
For one, I do not believe this is a bad move for us cyclists: as mentioned earlier, the move gives Cervélo access to deeper RnD pockets and can only be positive with regards to Garmin-Cervélo after the loss of the Big Mat.
As for the incentives of Vroomen and White, who are we to question the actions of two inspiring and pioneering designers? The men have set and subsequently the benchmark in the design of carbon fibre frames for more than a decade, if they wish to realize some of the value they have added to their business then fair play to them.
In response to Larry’s allegations of double standards in not announcing the merger in the media, I would guess that such behaviour would be extremely frowned upon if not illegal: any such announcements could be seen as attempts to artificially inflate the price of the business to secure greater profit for the individual stake holders.

The Inner Ring December 28, 2011 at 5:31 pm

Thanks for all the comments. I suppose some brands trigger certain responses.

For me this company does more than produce generic carbon frames, at times it has led the market especially with the time trial frames. If anything the firm has tried too hard to engineer products and gone down the route of proprietary bottom bracket dimensions and unconventional distribution models.

Chuck: I’ve fixed the wording above, thanks.

Ali December 28, 2011 at 5:49 pm

Brian,

Though I do own a steel bike however its not as you have imagined, it is 7.4kg full bike hand crafted in Bergamo italy. kitted with 11s super record. and thats a winter bike . when the sun comes out I tend to take my custom made italian CARBON bike with carbon wheels !!

Photos available on request ;)

Larry T. December 28, 2011 at 6:01 pm

Chuck – this link might clear things up for you
http://cache2.artprintimages.com/p/LRG/7/799/NUKI000Z/art-print/tour-de-france-incomparable-eddy-merckx.jpg
It’s almost more when Eddy did NOT ride a bike with his name on it? Early when he rode a bike branded Peugeot and I think his hour record bike said WINDSOR on it though Ernie Colnago takes credit for actually making the bike. Otherwise it was always branded Eddy Merckx as I recall.
Brian – I think you’re being a bit tough on Ali, no? Being a steel bike fan myself, I get a bit tired of the “newest-latest” crowd’s attitude on how I could possibly enjoy riding such an “antique” but I try not to be an a-hole about it…with varying degrees of success.
I look forward to more of Vroomen’s blog, maybe he’ll finally explain it all?

Toma December 28, 2011 at 6:04 pm

Photos please.

Ali December 28, 2011 at 6:24 pm

Larry, Thanks for the backup . I imagined Brian on his Cervelo P94slr zipp wheels 3T bars and Rapha white jacket , black shorts. well you would expect this sort of attitude. he most likely to be a hedge fund manager too.
PS the Cervelo P94slr is different from Cervelo P94sl, different stickers this year. :)

jza December 28, 2011 at 7:12 pm

The buyout is probably more of an issue of corporate governance than running a cool bike brand.

When a start-up grows really quickly, it can easily outpace the capabilities of the founders/current executives. Running the company requires more financial expertise and less technical knowledge. Not saying, Phil and Gerard aren’t smart, but they’re engineers not financiers.

My guess is that they’d rather spend time designing product/running a brand than sitting in meetings with bankers.

They could hire an exec. from outside the company, but then you can have a awkward power dynamic that ultimately turns into a mess. Sometimes it’s just best to cut and run. They had a great ride.

Touriste-Routier December 28, 2011 at 7:13 pm

And what is wrong with selling one’s business? Don’t forget people start businesses to earn a living/make a profit. They invested their time and money to build it; if they can sell the company, great for them; that is the entrepreneurial dream. Whether they end up with cash or not is based upon the deal. For those of you who own houses, it most likely is your end game to eventually sell it for more than you bought it for, so don’t be the pot calling the kettle black.

As for comments about being a Hedge Fund Manager; I suppose folks in the financial services industry are not allowed to ride bikes? As far as I know your employer/career has nothing to do with what you ride or how you ride it. People buy what they like; don’t hate them because their taste or choice was different then yours, especially when almost all of the boutique brands are made in 3rd party facilities. Someone has to buy the products in order to keep companies alive.

bikecellar December 28, 2011 at 7:39 pm

Yes it can sometimes get a bit like, you are what you wear/ride. In common with a lot of cyclists, I have steel, aluminium, titanium and carbon bikes. For me it is a question of horses for courses”.

Larry T. December 28, 2011 at 10:02 pm

I’ll cut Brian some slack, as I wrote I’m trying to be less of an a-hole. I have zero problem with folks who buy $10K bicycles though I kind of giggle when it turns out their legs cost 79 cents. It’s their money so as long as they earned it honestly I’d rather see it spent on bikes instead of dope or hookers. One thing I’ve learned in a long career in sales of bicycles, automobiles, motorcycles and a few other things is that compared to the rest, even the most obnoxious cyclist is a pretty good, positive person when compared to the general public – yes, even the hedge fund managers or those who create an overhyped, overpriced bike brand and then sell it off when things cool off a bit.
As to frame materials, I’ve been lucky (and old) enough to grow up riding lugged steel frames, and in the last decade or so, ones made specifically for me or by men whose hand I can still shake. With the carbon fiber machines all I can remember is how each new one somehow rides so much better than the previous version. I have a hard time believing these ride-quality improvements are so large each time a new bike comes out and can only think what a pile-o-crap the ride of the previous one must have been when the reviews come out saying how overly stiff the previous year’s bike was, but this new one is great….only to say the same stuff the following year. It’s just like the pros, whatever they’re paid to ride is the best bike ever, even if they’ve gone elsewhere to have a replica made by an artisan builder that actually fits them or simply had that bike resprayed and decaled to look like the new one. This has been going on since, well, since bikes have been raced on with brand names painted on ‘em and still goes on today, no matter what the big-brand bike makers want you to believe. So while a non-steel frame will certainly be lighter than anything I ride, but I don’t care about that…the few pounds of weight difference could easily be compensated for by reducing the size of my “descending muscle”, that nicely curved, aerodynamic bit in the front – if I cared. But I care more about how the bike goes down than how it goes up and still believe the resilience of steel is perfect for keeping the wheels in contact with the ground during fast cornering. Bicisport Magazine and Davide Cassani talk about this every time there’s a major crash on descents in the big races…even Ernie Colnago has come out and said, “enough with the lightness, we need security (meaning safety and stability).
Excuse me if this ran on too long.

TotheBillyoh December 29, 2011 at 12:05 am

Larry T wrote: “One thing I’ve learned in a long career in sales of bicycles, automobiles, motorcycles and a few other things is that compared to the rest, even the most obnoxious cyclist is a pretty good, positive person when compared to the general public…” Well said, we need to be more gentle with each other for we are but members of the same family, as it were. I have worked with Birdwatching and Bushwalking Clubs and these nice, gentle individuals can, and do become howling banshees, attacking each other over arcane aspects of their sport. Before letting rip, why not consider how much more like you a fellow velo is than the 99.9% who couldn’t give a fig for the sport?

Don December 29, 2011 at 1:25 am

The Cervelo press release has been updated with additional information, as follows:

Updated information: Thanks to everybody who commented on our message that we’re contemplating a sale of the company. To answer some of your questions, here is a bit of background. Cervélo has experienced exceptional growth and success since we started 16 years ago. A potential sale of the company allows us to continue to grow Cervélo without changing any of the things that make it special.

Cervélo will continue to be based in Toronto, with the same team of people, with the same desire to engineer the best bikes on the planet. It will stand by old products and create exciting new ones, starting with the new P5 which will be launched next month. Stay tuned.

Larry T. December 29, 2011 at 10:10 am

I was trying to remember who rode a “Cervelo”, which turned out to be something else painted to match the team bikes. It was Tyler Hamilton in the Giro according to this
http://brumblebikes.com/road-department/road-bike-brands/parlee-cycles
while Lennard Zinn “outs” the practice some more with this bit about Sarto
http://velonews.competitor.com/2011/10/bikes-and-tech/technical-faq/lennard-zinn-faq-last-batch-%E2%80%94-the-coolest-things-in-padova_196297
The lesson here, is one I learned first-hand back at LeTour 1988 when I came back with photos of Hampsten’s bike, the same one he used to win the Giro that year. We started looking at them closely and one of our sales reps pointed out that this “Serotta” with HUFFY branding was actually the work of John Slawta of Landshark http://www.bikeradar.com/news/article/historic-pro-bike-andy-hampstens-1988-7-eleven-huffy-giro-ditalia-26181/ The lesson is don’t be fooled by marketing hype, it’s the RIDER who wins these races, not the bike and the bike quite likely is not what they say it is anyway. If Cadel Evans and Fabio Sabatini switched bike brands at the 2011 Tour, the results would still be the same, no matter what the big bike makers would like us to believe.

Ali December 29, 2011 at 11:12 am

May I add to the list this one :

http://legendfactory.it/collezione_1/

kelsey December 29, 2011 at 12:30 pm

I have a Cervelo R5 and a Felt F4X and I really enjoy them. I would still consider myself a cyclist.

zalamanda December 29, 2011 at 12:45 pm

what a lot of you forgotten is that despite their use of carbon Cervelo did make steel frames for the 2001 Paris Roubaix; their prodigy and superprodigy

Larry T. December 29, 2011 at 2:36 pm

Ali – what about Legend? Did I miss something? Do they make bikes with someone else’ name on them? Kelsey – I would NEVER say you’re not a cyclist as long as you’re pedaling a bicycle, though I do admit to giggling at those with $10K bikes and 79 cent legs when I see them, just as we did back-in-the-day when the engineer types showed up at the local crit with their boron-reinforced Kleins, and got dropped in a lap and a half.
Zalamanda – did Cervelo actually MAKE those bikes, or were they done by someone else?

Marty December 29, 2011 at 3:50 pm

Cervelo has been pushing the boundries for years, designing innovate bikes so athletes can get more out of themselves. And they look awesome.

Sorry Larry T. guys like Bruce Gordon built great bikes back in the day when steel was real, but these days, they make bikes no one wants to buy no one wants a bike from the 60′s, nor pay a premium just so it can be made in the USA. Sad that they seem to have to beg the consumer for business and use BS anti-Asian, handmade is best propoganda.

If you doubt the awesome’ness Cervelo’s bikes are, go to your shop and test drive one. You’ll be asking Bruce why he can’t make a steel bike as good as the R5ca.

That being said, I’ve a steel bike for Touring, it’s a awesome bike and probably made by someone in Tiawan.

Ali December 29, 2011 at 8:17 pm

Yes Larry, Legend make bikes for well known french and italian brands, who do you think Ballan’s bike when he won the worlds !!!

Larry T. December 29, 2011 at 9:54 pm

Marty, I don’t want to get into a big argument but there’s simply NOTHING about a Cervelo or any other carbon fiber bike that interests me. A big part of it for you seems to be what it looks like, which is like debating Monica Bellucci vs Belen Rodriguez…there’s no clear-cut answer. And sorry, but I don’t buy a claim that somehow a carbon bike enables anyone to “get more out of themselves” which sounds pretty much like advertising hype to me. Just like a car with no engine, a bike just sits there until someone starts pedaling it – which 100% determines what kind of performance it’s capable of. As for Bruce Gordon and SOPWAMTOS, they don’t make any claims to cutting edge, innovative, racing stuff, did you read their manifesto? And I would make a small wager that those guys will (providing they’re still alive) be turning out their stuff when Cervelo is little more than a brand-name stuck on Chinese frames like oh, say Motobecane or Masi. And what is “a bike as good as” anyway?. As expensive? Hyped? Used by pros (except the ones who have someone else make the bike for them and just put the Cervelo sticker on it?) It all comes down to how you define “good” I suppose. My preference as an old fart has something to do with how long you keep it and enjoy riding it vs replacing it with yet another “newest-latest” which will be SO much better than the piece of crap you’re riding now, as the marketers will say. I’m not ragging on Cervelo here for any reason other than that’s what the topic was, they’re part of a large club of folks who “design” stuff and have it made in cheap-labor countries (or in their CA skunkworks which raises the price to obscene levels) and then charge a whale of a lot of money for it. I find this distasteful and certainly not for me, but if you want one, and even if you want to bring it to Italy and ride it on one of our tours, that’s your choice, not mine. We’d love to have you. We already have plenty of clients who like these bikes and enjoy riding them with us in Italy each year…and I must admit I really like them too- when it’s time to hoist ‘em onto the roof rack on our van! So keep riding and enjoying your bikes. I’ll try to do the same.
Ali, grazie, I didn’t know those guys were one of the “makers of trust” too. Our friend Antonio Mondonico was the man for Claudio Chiappucci back in the day, though of course the bike was decaled as CARRERA. The first one he made for me is still my all-time favorite bike. I wonder how many other big-brand bikes under the pros are really made by artisans in Italy like Sarto or Bertoletti? I wonder who will make bikes for Tom Boonen now that the sponsor is again Specialized? It would be a great “who really makes it?” piece though it may be tough to get the real story since so many marketing dollars ride on keeping the myth going. Only years later does the real story come out in print as in the case of Hampsten, Merckx, etc. My friend Serafino Tomi, who learned his craft at Cinelli back-in-the-day said they’d turn out orders for entire teams each year and they’d all go out unpainted to be done up in team livery by the bike sponsors. Masi did the same thing from what I’m told, I think he made the Flandria bikes that Freddy Maertens and Co. rode years ago.

kelsey December 30, 2011 at 3:34 am

What the hell are 79cent legs??? I would value mine to be more in the five dollar range not sure what that equals in euros… Are they still using euros?

Ali December 30, 2011 at 8:27 am

Marty,

What do you mean by Cervelo has been pushing the boundries for years, designing innovate ..!!!! They were done by court (just recently)for COPYING Canyon bike stays design, have we all forgotten. please check the facts.

Larry T. December 30, 2011 at 10:32 am

Kelsey – in euros it would be a 7692 euro bike and 60 euro-cent legs I guess. That was the old saying though it was then $5K bike and 79 cent legs. The meaning is the rider spent a ton of dough on the bike but not much time on training…the idea was by spending the big bucks on the newest-latest they could somehow overcome their lack of training or ability. That’s the one thing I think makes cycling different than say hot-rod cars or motorbikes where the old saying was,” Speed costs money, how fast can you afford to go?” As much as the bike industry would like it to be otherwise, you can NOT buy speed (unless of course we talking doping) as the bike will go only as fast as you can pedal it. THAT is what makes it a great sport to me. Back in my motorcycle racing days it was frustrating to be beaten by those who were not more talented or practiced more, but simply had faster machines due to their larger budget. While I sucked at bicycle racing, at least I knew it was NOT because the guys who were kicking my ass were doing it because they had faster, more expensive machines, it was simply that they were superior athletes. The results were based on merit, not budget, which is the way I think it should be in sport…but I AM married to a sports philosopher…so there ya go.
Ali – I think we’ve beaten up on Cervelo enough for now…I’m wishing Marty some great rides as it’s really “not about the bike” as some famous Texan once wrote… to me it’s about how much fun you can have with it…pretty much like all toys, no? Now that the rain has stopped here in Sicily I’m hoping to get out on mine today or tomorrow. Do you live in Bergamo? We have friends up there, in Osio Sotto to be exact.

Ali December 30, 2011 at 1:09 pm

Ciao Larry, Ha ragione, basta cosi. Io sono in Toscana. ma lavoro anche io in cicloturismo. pensa te :)
send me your email and we can correspond. Apresto, ciao.

jess December 30, 2011 at 1:26 pm

This threads turned into a bit of a rant against cyclists who have certain types of jobs. I’ve always been interested in what jobs we all do when we are not racing – and how those jobs shape our approach to racing and riding..
Thoughts ?

Larry T. December 30, 2011 at 2:39 pm

No rant from me against anyone’s job. As I wrote earlier here cyclists are ALL pretty nice folks when compared to the general public in my experience, even the hedge-fund managers! Most know that I (with the help of my wife) own and operate CycleItalia with a goal is of sharing the delights of Italian cycling with cycling fans from all over the world, though most of our clients come from North America.
Email to larry@cycleitalia.com reaches me directly while our website is http://www.cycleitalia.com and our blog is http://cycleitalia.blogspot.com/
The wife is also a philosophy prof at a college in Iowa when we’re not in Italy.
HAPPY NEW YEAR to everyone!

zalamanda December 30, 2011 at 7:13 pm

Larry T

That is an interesting point. I’m not sure, however their S-series is aluminium, so they know how to work with metal. In addition to this their earlier site had a selection of far-out prototypes, again mostly steel or aluminium which shows how flexible they used to be

The Inner Ring December 31, 2011 at 12:53 am

A correction to the comments above.

I stated shares owned by Vroomen and White have been sold down. This was incorrect and in fact they own the business 100%. Sorry.

Marty December 31, 2011 at 4:19 am

Didn’t Vroomen sell his state in Cervelo back in May?

Larry, I object to how guys like Bruce Gordon position their bikes. The dogma “if it isn’t hand made in America, it’s shit” or a guy from China doesn’t build a bike with professionalism or passion. Come on. These guys made awesome bikes when every company was making steel but since then have become bitter old dinosaurs who have failed to innovate their products…and now they suffer for it.

There are a number of steel bike manufacturers who are above this shit… they make some awesome product and present them as such (Independant Fabricators). They aren’t whining about China.

Also, you “giggle” over $10k bikes on $0.79 legs. Last time I check custom steel bikes were very pricey. Add a decent groupset and some good wheels and they bike could easily reach +$5k price points. Is this equally as distasteful? IMO it’s pretty outrageous to charge $3k for a frame and fork made in a garage.

Believe it or not, there are costs associated with a $10k bike that justify the cost. I’m sure Cervelo has a HR, shipping department and a engineers, labourors that need to be paid. Accounting needs to send invoices and people have to be paid to sell the bikes. Give a guy in Tiawan a set of plans and some columbus tubing and I bet your still going to pay big bucks. Who knows… might even be a better bike.

I’ve road/raced a relatively inexpensive carbon frame for the last 4 yrs ( actually have 2 of the same frame ), and while not concerned about the next best frame I appreciate that when I’m in line for a new frame, Cervelo will hopefully still be making awesome, cutting edge carbon ( and maybe still aluminum? ), bicycles. More importantly, the best designs of today filter down to the lower ranges therefore offering yesterdays best frame at a affordable price. The ONLY reason I don’t drop big $$ on a frame is because the Masters peloton ( like any other I guess ), it littered with crashes and while I can afford a $10k bike, I can’t afford 2 of them.

And thanks for the offer for the bike tour in Italy. I’m going to Italy in the summer with the family and might look you up.

Ali, please check YOUR facts. The Canyon vs. Cervelo case was settled out of court with each company benefiting from the patents.

Oh, BTW, I’m from Toronto… where the Cervelo plant is :)

Larry T. December 31, 2011 at 8:33 am

Marty – while I could poke holes in your argument and believe you’ve read a lot of your own ideas into the things SOPWAMTOS stands for and what I’ve written, I have no further interest in winding you up. I think most everyone here is tired of this debate, so I’ll let your post go unchallenged except for one last question since you revealed you live in “Toronto..where the Cervelo plant is.” Have you been there? Do they actually MAKE anything there or is it like the Ridley “factory” in Europe where carbon bikes from China are painted and decaled? Have fun in Italy, I hope you’re bringing your bike?

Marty December 31, 2011 at 3:00 pm

Cervelo has said they will be moving operations to Toronto in 2012/13.

Guru, a Quebec company builds custom handmade full carbon frames and has built a solid reputation over the years. go to their website and view the awesome’ness.

Build better bikes people want to buy, or enter into extinction. It’s likely Cervelo will survive.

Ferdi January 1, 2012 at 7:04 am

To each their own but having spent a childhood looking at English TT bikes with ‘fag paper’ clearance I steer clear of any brand of frame that a minor imperfection in the tyre or a broken spoke will make the bike unrideable or you will lose the clearcoat & first layer of carbon by riding it home .

Jon January 2, 2012 at 4:44 am

Hopefully they fire the managment and hire people whom are progressive.

Anon February 6, 2012 at 2:46 am

Boo.

As a Canadian – that sucks to hear. But what are we going to do, eh?

phil June 12, 2012 at 3:19 am

I got an idea. Just ride the damn bike you like.
Play nice children.

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