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Historic BMX brand Race Inc. sold to Canadian entrepreneur

Published July 24, 2020

A version of this story ran in the July issue of BRAIN.

MONTRÉAL (BRAIN) — Race Inc., a brand that dates to the early days of BMX, has a new owner who plans to return it to prominence in the sport.

The new owner is American BMX Company, a new company founded to make the purchase. ABC was founded by Marc Côté, a Canadian entrepreneur with a background in robotic engineering, and film and television production.

Race Inc. has been on and off the market since 1974 and its original aluminum frames are cherished by collectors. The brand was founded by Bill Bastian, who used his experience building aluminum motorcycle frames to bring the first aluminum BMX frames, handlebars and seat posts to market. Bastain also built frames for companies like FMF, Cycle Pro, Laguna and Peugeot and helped SE Racing develop its PK Ripper frames.

Bastian shut down Race Inc. in 1984 and he died in 2011. The Race Inc. brand was resurrected a few years later by Chris Hancock, and Indiana entrepreneur. Hancock's company, Race Inc. Quality BMX Products, has offered aluminum race frames and retro-style frames and accessories under the label.

Côté is a BMX parent who raced in the 1980s — on a Race Inc. RA-7 frame, which he still has.

ABC plans a line of race frames and bikes set up exclusively with Box components plus a line of retro-style frames and bikes.

Côté plans to use his expertise in robotic engineering, digital graphics and gaming design to develop an interactive B2C website that will allow consumers to customize their bike and preview the results. Race Inc. also will sell through bike shops.

The company hopes to have frame and bike samples available in time for this fall's Grand Nationals event in Tulsa.

Besides marketing the brand, Côté said he plans to work with USA BMX to promote the sport of BMX in the U.S. and globally.

"I cried when BMX racing was introduced at the Olympics," Côté said in a news release. "It's time to combine our efforts to elevate the sport even further."

Working with Côté on ABC is Michael Gamstetter helped start Box Components with Toby Henderson in 2012. Gamstetter also has worked with DK Bikes, Intense BMX and Speed, now Speedco. Gamstetter, a former editor of BRAIN, is ABC's brand manager.

 

Topics associated with this article: Mergers & Acquisitions

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