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Ritchey sells complete bikes dealer direct in Europe

Published August 31, 2016
Ritchey Outback gravel road bike

FRIEDRICHSHAFEN, Germany (BRAIN) — For years Ritchey told dealers asking for complete bikes that it wasn't going to happen while its OEM component sales represented such a large portion of its business. The thinking was that a component maker shouldn't compete with its customers by offering complete bikes.

But as companies use more and more self-branded components, Ritchey's OEM sales slowed sharply, and so did their worry about competing with their dwindling number of customers. Ritchey USA decided last year to offer U.S. shops complete bikes, and now Ritchey International, based in Lugano, Switzerland, is following suit.

“Dealers have been asking us to do this for a long time but we always wanted to protect our OEM sales,” said Riccardo Deliziosi, Ritchey’s global director of sales, at the Eurobike show this week. 

“After announcing to our dealers the availability of complete bikes, the response, especially from our German dealers, has been strong,” Deliziosi said.

He would like to sign up 30 to 50 dealers interested in complete bike sales and has already signed a few dealers at Eurobike.

The company will offer five of its steel frames in two levels of builds maximizing Ritchey component spec, and completed with either Shimano or SRAM drivetrains.

Currently the bikes are being assembled in Asia, but the company will bring assembly operations to Europe in the future. Complete bikes are warehoused at Ritchey's new logistics facility in Singen, Germany, and Ritchey International will handle the sales.

“What's nice for us is that we can spec almost the entire bike with Ritchey components. Tom (Ritchey) designs his components to integrate with each other, but most of our OEM customers just picked what they wanted from the line,” Deliziosi said.

The move impacts the company's three major distributors as well as its seven smaller regional distributors. These distributors will no longer offer frames or offer complete bikes. They will, however, continue to offer Ritchey components and accessories.

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