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Eminent Cycles eyes more IBDs for hybrid sales model, will attend CABDA West

Published January 3, 2019
The Eminent Haste frame.

SAN MARCOS, Calif. (BRAIN) — Mountain bike brand Eminent Cycles, sold largely consumer direct on the internet, is looking to expand its hybrid sales model and will attend this month's CABDA West show to meet with prospective dealers.

Launched in November 2017, Eminent currently sells through a handful of IBDs — mostly based around the company's home in San Diego County — but hopes to begin selling through more dealers as it expands from one 27.5-inch enduro model, the 160-millimeter-travel Haste, and adds two new 29er trail models this March. Eminent will display one of those new models in its CABDA West booth Jan. 16 and 17 at the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club Racetrack in Del Mar, California.

Relative to more established IBD brands, dealers participating in the Eminent sales program earn a smaller margin on sales but are not required to carry a large amount of inventory in store.

"Our business isn't designed to support the margins of larger established bike brands, but if we can get exposure through the better dealers and the service they offer and being the local expert in their community, we're willing to give up some of our margin to make that happen," said Paul Cusick, Eminent's sales and marketing manager.

"We can either ship you a frame and build kit and you assemble it, and there's a certain margin for that. Or if you want it completely assembled, we deliver it retail direct in our box, which is 95 percent assembled — you just have to put the handlebars and front wheel on. We can do that too, but there is a lower margin for that since we're doing a lot of the assembly and other work on our end," added Cusick, a former sales manager for Intense Cycles and Ellsworth Bikes.

The two new bikes set for release this March will allow Eminent to approach dealers in new regions of the country where enduro models may not be popular, Cusick noted.

"Our lineup as it stands today is heavily enduro and bigger travel, so it's somewhat limited where we can have a dealer because that can be tough to sell in places like the Midwest or any place that doesn't have that much elevation. But with the two new models we have coming out that are better suited to all-around trail riding, that opens up more opportunity to dealers throughout the country. The plan is that as the line expands, we'll expand our dealer footprint too," he said.

CABDA West will be Eminent's first dealer-facing show, and Cusick said the company is open to dealer suggestions about how it can work with shops.

"We can see what works for both sides. Our goal is to get more people on Eminent bikes, and if a dealer has an outside-the-box way of doing it, we're open to that. Even some of the dealers we already work with say they just want demo bikes and use them to sell. Other dealers say they want bikes on the floor or they want one for themselves and one on the floor. We've been really flexible, and being at a show like CABDA will let us meet face to face and hear what dealers are looking for," he said.

Eminent was founded by Jeff Soncrant, an avid mountain biker with more than 25 years of engineering experience in the automotive and sporting goods industries. He created the brand's AFS suspension system, which uses a floating shock, floating brake, and a long rocker arm designed to keep the rear wheel planted on the ground through small and large hits.

More information: eminentcycles.com.

 

Topics associated with this article: CABDA

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