CARDIFF-BY-THE-SEA, CA (BRAIN) Wednesday April 11 2012 6:32 AM MT—Bob Haro, one of the founding fathers of BMX freestyle and the namesake of Haro Bicycles, is coming back to the bike industry with a limited edition anniversary bike and a new brand.
Haro, who sold his eponymous brand in 1993, is bringing out the anniversary bike under his new Ikonix brand. The name seems appropriate for a bike from Haro, who as a designer and athlete had a huge influence on the aesthetics of BMX in its early days.
In 1982 Haro was a freestyle performer and a purveyor of BMX number plates and softgoods. Freestyle, more commonly called trick riding then, was not seen as a separate sport from BMX racing. There were virtually no freestyle-specific products or brands.
Haro changed that by coming out with the first Haro Freestyler frame and fork. Within a couple of years, he was selling thousands of complete bikes and riding the freestyle wave. He sold Haro Bicycles in 1993 and launched a design firm whose clients are primarily in the motorsports industry.
Haro for the most part has been out of the bike industry for the last few years, although he worked with Nike to design the 2008 U.S. Olympic BMX team uniforms and is involved in the 2012 designs. He also occasionally makes what he called "cameo appearances" at BMX events.
Last year he realized the 30th anniversary of the Freestyler was approaching in July 2012, and he approached the current owners of Haro Bicycles to talk about making a special edition.
They were unable to reach a deal, so Haro is launching a special edition bike under his new Ikonix brand. He will have 540 of the bikes made, and so far details are scarce. The bikes will be sold consumer-direct through the Ikonix website, but so far he's not revealing the price or even showing a picture of the bike.
"It will be expensive," Haro told Bicycle Retailer this week. Low serial numbers will be awarded to the first folks to place orders.
With 5,000 fans on Facebook and some of his original BMX number plates selling for $600 or more, Haro knows there is a market among the former 1980s BMXers, many of whom now have the income to indulge their passion.
"There's definitely a fan base out there, people who remember those years as some of the greatest of their lives, when they were teenagers or in their early 20's."
Haro expects Ikonix to continue after the anniversary bikes are sold, with new products. "I think you can expect more from me," he said.