CARDIFF BY THE SEA, Calif. (BRAIN) — BMX icon Bob Haro plans to begin shipping a limited edition new bike this November under the Ikonix brand, marking his return to bike making about 31 years after he launched the industry’s first freestyle-specific bike model, the Haro Freestyler.
Haro has not had a financial tie to his first bike company, Haro Bicycles, since 1993. His sales agreement prevents him from using his name on bikes, but he said he is allowed to “tell my story” in marketing, thus tying his name and history to the new Ikonix brand.
Haro hopes to sell 180 of the limited edition $2,250 FS1 bikes. They will be bundled with a collectible shirt, hat and number plate. After that run, he hopes to sell a total of about 540 of the model.
He hopes to use the momentum from the limited edition sales of the FS1 to eventually offer lower priced bike and frameset models, and maybe a full-blown bike brand with sales through dealers.
“The BMX market is significantly down lately, so to jump into doing a complete line doesn’t make sense. Most IBDs lost interest in carrying BMX,” he said.
While Haro is still meeting with potential investors and distribution partners, he said a dealer line is likely several years out.
“The deal is to be a premium BMX brand, a high concept, not-for-the-masses brand. I’m not looking to compete at every price point. I’m not trying to recapture the thunder that came with the old brand. This is more about who I am as a designer,” he said.
Haro said he was inspired by the auto industry’s recent practice of updating classic designs with modern technology, such as the Fiat 500 and Volkswagen’s new Beetle.
The limited edition bike incorporates design elements that he hopes to carry over to less expensive models. The bike features a Torker-style split top tube reminiscent of the Freestyler. The hydroformed chromoly frame is made in Taiwan and includes a custom-shaped down tube and head tube and a streamlined seat binder bolt. The bike has Haro-designed cranks, a one-piece stem and handlebar, custom saddle and other exclusive components.
"Nothing on the bike is off-the-rack," Haro said. "We didn't just order up a bike off the factory's menu."
While the limited edition model is a freestyle bike, Haro showed a concept race bike, with four-spoke carbon wheels and disc brakes, at an event during the 2012 Olympics in London. Haro had a part in choreographing the bike sequences in the opening ceremony at those Games.
While Haro is best known as a freestyle rider and designer, he's always had ties to racing, as well, and said he’d like to eventually offer race bikes under the Ikonix brand.