BLOOMINGTON, MN (BRAIN)—QBP has created Whisky, a parts brand offering carbon forks, handlebars, seat posts and bottle cages. Whisky will roll out a series of unidirectional-carbon cross, mountain and road forks in late July and early August. The lineup will include disc-specific cyclocross forks. Additional carbon fiber components and accessories will be released in the fall.
Emphasizing proven designs and understated graphical treatments, Whisky targets dedicated cyclists who value performance, assurance and durability. According to Jason
Gaikowski, QBP director of brand and marketing, the brand serves an underserved community of riders.
“These people are more passionate about their local rides than about faraway races and fantasy destinations,” said Gaikowski, adding that while they value modern technology and high performance, they don’t want the flash and pretense they associate with many products in this category.
“Whisky takes pride in offering right-priced, hardworking carbon parts for people who are determined to make the absolute most of their riding,” Gaikowski said. “For dealers, the brand provides a high-quality option for consumers who are interested in carbon, but want assurance on its performance and safety. Our goal is to provide dealers with a dependable source of reliable carbon parts that will fit the majority of consumer needs.”
Brand manager Jason Grantz said QBP hopes to debunk the idea that carbon fiber can’t be ridden hard for everyday use. “There’s this perception around carbon that it’s in some cases fragile,” said Grantz. “It doesn’t bend or absorb impact. If it’s cracked you have to replace it. But that might lead to the assumption that it’s not durable or tough enough, that it’s a polished trophy and you can’t ride it hard.”
To offer the consumer and the dealer confidence that its carbon parts will hold up to strenuous use, Whisky has established rigorous testing requirements with manufacturing partners, in-house testing and third-party testing that exceeds CEN testing standards.
Grantz, who returned to QBP six months ago to launch the brand, said he’s also applied experience he gained with testing during two years at Cane Creek.
“We’re testing it above and beyond the limits and we will inform our customers and inform our dealers,” said Grantz. “I can’t say we won’t have a failure, but we can say we’ve tested this tube as far as we possibly can. We trust it, and we believe it has superior durability.”
Grantz and other members of the Whisky team will introduce the brand to bike dealers at SaddleDrive, an industry event QBP is hosting this July at its distribution center in Ogden, Utah. The presentation will feature previews of sample products and an overview of the Whisky brand philosophy and mission.