BETHEL, CT (BRAIN) — Easton Cycling is licensing carbon spoke intellectual property from Topolino for some new products to be introduced next year, the companies announced Tuesday. Topolino is ending sales of its bike wheels to focus on its wheelchair wheels.
The move reflects the increased competition and high stakes in the high-end wheel market, Topolino founder and president Rafe Schlanger told BRAIN.
"It's a very competitive market and we are just the small guys. We came up organically, without any sugar daddy investors ... it's better to team up with a larger player," he said.
Schlanger said his company is continuing to service owners of Topolino bike wheels, but its Carbon Core and True Black bike wheels, which are sold dealer direct, are essentially off the market now. He declined to comment on exactly how Easton will use his technology, but said "they are doing something very interesting, they are not just taking up where we left off."
Schlanger said Topolino retains rights to other patents and intellectual property that it could be of use in the bike market. "We could come out with some other stuff down the line." Schlanger, who worked at Cannondale in the 1980s, also patented the technology used in the Spinergy Rev-X, a landmark carbon wheel from the 1990s.