World News Briefs – Stages Closes, Kona’s Future Uncertain

Stages Cycling Closes

Well-known USA based power meter brand Stages Cycling has laid off its entire workforce and looks to have ceased operations.

According to a report by Escape Collective, multiple sources close to the brand have also indicated that the company has stopped placing orders with suppliers and ceased shipping orders to customers.

At present, the brand’s eCommerce website shows almost its entire catalogue of products as out of stock.

The company has been in operation since 2009, when brothers Jim and Scott Liggett founded what is now Stages Cycling’s parent company, Foundation Fitness LLC. In 2012, the Stages Cycling brand name and subsidiary was born.

It’s best known in the cycling industry for its crank-based power meters, which add strain gauges to existing brands’ crank arms to measure the force applied – and thus calculate the power produced – as a rider turns the pedals.

Stages’ product made power meters more affordable, and the brand was at least partly responsible for bringing power-based training to the masses.

Its bigger branch, which centres around making ‘commercial indoor bikes’ for gyms and fitness centres, is perhaps less well-known. Its SC1, SC2 and SC3 bikes can be found in gyms and fitness centres around the world, with clients such as The Gym Group, David Lloyd, SoulCycle and more, even if they might not always carry the Stages branding.

Thanks to its strong range of products and its partnerships with high-profile teams such as Team Sky, UAE Team Emirates and others, the Stages brand is a household name in the cycling industry.

Meanwhile another report suggests that Giant is suing Stages for US$14 million (A$21.4 million) in unpaid invoices.

Giant had announced last January that it had agreed to acquire a share in Stages for more than US$20 million (A$30.6 million) in cash and stock, but then announced weeks later that it had ended negotiations to buy the brand. In the January announcement, Giant said investing in Stages would, “expand Giant Group’s presence with the indoor cycling market and the investment also serves as part of Giant’s strategy in building Giant’s cycling ecosystem.”

The report also said that four Stages executives had also joined Giant as employees.

Most of the Stages Cycling report was previously published on, with the Giant comments being previously published in Bicycle Retailer and Industry News.

Kona Under a Cloud

Kona is a USA bicycle brand founded 36 years ago by Dan Gerhard, Jake Heilbron, and Jimbo Holmstrom who ran it as an independent for 34 of those years.

In 2022 they sold to Kent Outdoors, which is a diversified sporting goods company, not related to Kent International, which is a USA mass market bike maker.

At the time of the sale the emphasis was “business as usual” with the founders all staying with the company.

However since the purchase it appears that there have been a range of problems such as the launch of an consumer direct sales channel including a “buy one get one free” promotion that was unpopular with dealers and talk of moving at least the head office from Washington State to Utah.

Most recently, Kona set up to exhibit at the annual Sea Otter Classic which ran from Thursday 18th April until Sunday 21st April, before abruptly taking down their exhibit and leaving.

Kent Outdoors then announced that it would be selling the brand, citing “Headwinds in the bicycle industry.”

Kona has been distributed in Australia for many years by Groupe Sportif who released a statement in relation to the latest developments, part of which read as follows:

“This move affects the operation of the brand Headquarters in Bellingham and the USA distribution more substantially than key Distributors such as Groupe Sportif in Australia.

“Due to the uniqueness of Kona’s distribution model, Distributors like Groupe Sportif, purchase Kona Bikes Direct from Kona’s third party manufacturing factories. So, supply of Kona mountain Bikes in Australia should not be disrupted, nor will ongoing warranty.

“The factories have stock of bikes available and it is expected the supply of bikes to support dealers in Australia will continue to flow, fully warranty backed by the factories. Top up inventory is currently in shipping to Australia and will arrive in coming weeks.

“It is expected a new owner for the brand will be found in a relatively short period of time given the history and prominence of the brand world wide and we will keep dealers apprised of this process as we are able.”

Leave a Comment