TAICHUNG, Taiwan (BRAIN) — KORE, a longtime mountain bike brand with early roots in Southern California’s dirt scene, is enjoying a resurgence in sales as a growing list of bicycle companies again spec the iconic company’s products.
The list includes well-known brands like GT, Mongoose, Schwinn, Norco and KHS, plus a long list of niche brands like Evil, Banshee and others. Helping breathe new life into the company is an extensive roster of distributors throughout the world ranging from Bolivia to Vietnam.
“It’s brought a lot of attention back to the product,” said Ollie Thomas, KORE’s brand manager, and Wick Wickster, who manages brand spin. Wick credits the revival to narrowing its product line and focusing on key mountain bike disciplines—gravity, trail/enduro and dirt jump.
“We’re a dirt company. If it’s not dirt we’re not involved,” said Wick, as he and Thomas met with product managers in the Tempus Hotel during the second day of Taichung Bike Week.
KORE’s renewed focus on the mountain bike scene is getting a push from bicycle brands seeking to offer a point of differentiation from house-branded components, said Thomas. “Each year we’ve been slowly growing,” he added.
“GT, for example, has really helped get the brand out there,” Wick said, noting that GT, like others, spec's its handlebars and stems with its unique KORE graphic. “More bikes on the floor with our brand also helps us in the aftermarket,” he said.
Besides handlebars and stems, the company also sells pedals, grips, saddles, seatposts and wheelsets. KORE is currently distributed in the U.S. by J&B, BTI and KHS.