WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA (BRAIN) Tuesday June 5 2012 8:01 AM MT—Ergon is looking to develop an initial dealer base of 200 to 300 retailers for its new Phorm line of saddles and grips, which recently became available in the U.S.
Phorm brings Ergon’s German design and engineering expertise to a broader audience with lower priced products. The Taiwan-made saddles retail between $39 and $69 and the three grips are priced between $20 and $30, about half the price of most of Ergon’s performance/comfort grips.
Phorm saddles are modeled after Terry, the top selling saddle in Germany. Terry is distributed in Germany by RTI Sports, Ergon’s parent company.
Ergon expects the Phorm brand to stand on its own while also tapping into Ergon’s German roots, said Jeffrey Neal, Ergon’s vice president of U.S. operations
“We are banking on many dealers looking for a fresh new comfort saddle and grip option, engineered and designed in Germany with proven retail success in an extremely competitive Euro market,” Neal said.
Phorm saddles are sold exclusively through QBP, and grips are available through QBP, BTI and Norco. Saddles are still on the water, but Ergon does have some inventory in its Southern California warehouse. By aligning solely with QBP for saddles, Neal hopes retailers will look at Phorm as a brand they can purchase as often and deep as they need while bundling with other QBP purchases.
“I think we are going to get a lot of inventory turns,” he said. Phorm will also be sold by Ergon’s five independent sales reps.
Phorm saddles launches with eight models in black and white and men’s and women’s options. Saddles include shock absorbing dampers, and a purpose-designed clip-in system for Phorm’s complementing saddlebag. The line will eventually expand to include larger, more comfortable city bike saddles.
Ergon, which is based in Koblenz, Germany, entered the U.S. market about six years ago and has a dealer base of around 1,000 shops.