SARASOTA, FL (BRAIN)—Fulcrum Wheels srl is establishing a North American branch and has hired Ty Daugherty to head it as general manager. Daugherty will manage OE and aftermarket sales of the Fulcrum brand in the U.S. and Canada going forward.
Campagnolo North America will be one of the service centers for Fulcrum wheels until next summer, according to Daugherty (pictured), at which time the Sarasota, Florida office will take it over.
“Our main goal is to get more OEM business here. Of course, we’re not backing off from aftermarket; it’s still our goal to grow aftermarket. But we really see an opportunity for OEM with Fulcrum,” Daugherty said.
Daugherty said the business structure isn’t changing with QBP, Security Bicycle, BTI, KHS and Cycles Lambert in Canada handling distribution. However, he’s tasked with increasing Fulcrum’s brand awareness and visibility. He will help distributors run their demo and sales programs.
“Fulcrum is a growing brand here,” Daugherty said. “But it’s not like Campagnolo. IBDs don’t have the same brand awareness as that of Zipp or Mavic.”
Daugherty said the company sees opportunity to grow its marketshare—particularly in the mountain bike segment—in the U.S. It will be introducing several new mountain bike wheelsets at the Eurobike and Interbike trade shows this fall. Initially offering mid- to high-end road wheels, Fulcrum launched its first off-road wheels in 2008.
Daugherty has been in the bike industry for the past 25 years, most recently at Reynolds Cycling where he worked as international sales manager since 2005. “Reynolds was good to me but this opportunity came up,” said Daugherty, who had just returned from a trip to Fulcrum’s headquarters and office outside of Vicenza, Italy, where 90 percent of the company’s products are still manufactured.
Fulcrum also recently set up a Central Europe office in Berlin, Germany, to handle aftermarket and OE sales in Germany, Switzerland and Austria.