SANTA CLARITA, CA (BRAIN)—Corsair Bikes have new owners as Mike Flaherty and Froggy Khu of Atomlab, along with Pablo Tafoya—the designer of Corsair frames—have purchased the company from original founder and industry veteran Doug Stuart.
“The big common denominator is Pablo,” Flaherty said. “I met him years ago. He actually designed our clipless pedal. We just always had a similar vision even though he comes from downhill and I come from BMX.
“He brought the opportunity to my attention and it seemed like a really good fit,” he added.
Stuart, who founded the mountain bike company in 2007, is now overseeing sales and marketing with the newly formed U.S. subsidiary for SR Suntour. He had been with Full Speed Ahead before that.
Flaherty said that Tafoya will play a much more central role in the brand's direction and vision. Ralf Hauser, former editorial director and co-founder of Flow, Twentysix and Decline magazines will also be working with Corsair. Hauser, who is currently based in Austria, will be developing the new Web site that should be launched within a few weeks, while also helping with marketing and media relations.
Corsair will continue to build on its innovative designs and advanced linkage technology, according to Atomlab’s original founder Flaherty. Atomlab was founded in 1996, taking off quickly with its popular Flatboy pedal, which was ridden by some of the top downhillers at the time like John Tomac, Myles Rockwell and Brian Lopes. Today Atomlab makes mountain bike products as well as BMX.
Atomlab's new distribution company, Dirtec Direct (dirtecdirect.com), which now distributes Atomlab, Black Market and Sensus, will now handle distribution for Corsair Bikes in the United States. However, Corsair will remain a completely separate brand from Atomlab. International distribution will continue to be handled by Corsair's current international distributors, with no significant changes to pricing or dealers.
“The new management at Corsair places a huge importance on pro-rider involvement, feedback and sponsorship,” Flaherty said. “Corsair is currently finalizing a new team of elite riders, which will be announced later this month. Development of brand new product for the 2011 season is already under way and we hope to get some serious riding hours in on the prototypes soon.”
The new direction of the company will be portrayed in every aspect of its structure, from branding to marketing and in the product itself, so expect changes in the future, Flaherty added.
Corsair Bikes will now be located in Santa Clarita, California.
For more on this story including what Flaherty’s goals are with Corsair be sure to read the April 1 issue of Bicycle Retailer and Industry News.