CARLSBAD, CA (BRAIN)—Haro and Masi launched their 2011 bikes to the press yesterday at the Sheraton Carlsbad, as both brands had different points of emphasis to stress.
For Haro it’s back to the future, as the company looks to reintroduce its “Dare to be Different” slogan.
“For some reason we kind of went away from that mentality, and we probably should have never done that,” said Jill Hamilton (pictured), Haro’s MTB/Asphalt Bike brand manager. “While the product was looking good, it was a little boring—it was a little stale. The brand name on the downtube wasn’t really jumping out. The branding on the bikes just kind of blended into the background.”
So Haro took a step back to look at the company’s founding roots, while also doing a little non-endemic research.
“We looked at other action sports companies, from NASCAR to Indy car to motocross to MotoGP to snowboarding—those graphics seem to be a little bolder and in your face and that’s exactly what we returned to—more of our action sports heritage,” Hamilton said.
Haro’s top selling Flightline mountain bike series takes on the characteristics of this new brand attitude and persona.
“Those bikes look infinitely better,” Hamilton said. “The branding is very dominant on the downtube. The look is bold. Definitely something people can form more of an emotional connection with.”
For Masi it’s always been about steel and fixed gears, but for 2011 the brand is pushing the limits of carbon fiber with its Evoluzione road bike. While Masi has offered some carbon in the past, this year is different, according to Masi brand manager Tim Jackson.
“For one, we now own the molds exclusively—100 percent proprietary to us,” Jackson said.
Evoluzione will feature Masi’s Total Overdrive System that uses a BB30 oversized bottom bracket, oversized chainstays and a 1.125” x 1.5” tapered steerer tube, delivering increased stiffness and precision.
“It’s going to have that integrated stiffness from front to back,” Jackson said of Evoluzione. “There’s really great shape in the tubes to add greater torsional strength, with a bit of flex that’s built into the seatstays that also still resists twisting. It’s the magic carpet ride that we all keep talking about with carbon.”
Evoluzione comes in five different models. It retails for $1,850 (SRAM Apex) and $1,960 (Shimano 105) at the low end and maxes out at $5,675 (Shimano Dura Ace).
For more on what else Haro and Masi are emphasizing in their respective lines for 2011, be sure to read the August 15 issue of Bicycle Retailer and Industry News.