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Hippie Tech closes; founder starts rep business

Published October 19, 2016

BOISE, Idaho (BRAIN) — Hippie Tech Suspension, renowned for providing service on current as well as long-outdated forks and shocks, has closed. Over the last 15 years company founder Jerry Vanderpool said he has turned around more than 5,000 shocks.

Vanderpool sold off his service parts inventory to launch a new outside sales representative business, HTS Rep Group. He’s no longer offering follow-up service for shocks he has repaired.

“I’ve got very loyal dealers and customers and I want to get the word out that I have closed Hippie Tech,” Vanderpool said. “Business was still strong. I just wanted to do something else, something new.”

One of the issues looming for Hippie Tech was a greater proportion of shocks sent in for service were old vintage units, a trend driven partly by riders buying old bikes they could not afford when they were younger and now wanting them back and in shape to ride. Service parts for old shocks are drying up and fatigue issues cannot be addressed with new seals and valving, Vanderpool said.

“After working 15 years by myself in my shop it was no longer as fun as it was when I started out. Starting this rep business gets me visiting the dealers I have serviced over the years. And being able to ride with them on their trails is something I really missed. I’m really excited about this change,” Vanderpool said.

HTS Rep Group is representing a variety of brands including Detroit Bikes, Spank Industries, DVO, Ellsworth Bikes, Foes Racing, Hyperthreads, IXS, Nutcase Helmets, Terraplane and Wren Sports. Vanderpool will visit dealers in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming, as well as limited coverage in Washington and Oregon.

As with any new startup Vanderpool is going to go slow to build the business, but is open to hiring help if all goes well.

HTS Rep Group can be reached at (208) 724-8949 or email jerry.vanderpool@htsrepgroup.com

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