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American BMX Company secures rights to Cook Bros. Racing brand

Published December 3, 2020
The latest acquisition means a new line of modern BMX components.

MONTRÉAL (BRAIN) — After acquiring Race Inc. in July and then securing a long-term licensing agreement to bring the Jeff Bottema fork back to the market, American BMX Company is at it again.

ABC recently acquired the rights to Cook Bros. Racing and is developing a line of modern BMX components featuring the brand. Cook Bros. Racing, founded by brothers Gary and Craig in 1972, was a pioneer in the high-end world of BMX racing, making chromoly frames and forks and a range of CNC-machined components.

Among the company's innovations was the Uni stem, a predecessor to the threadless stems found on most bikes today. The brothers also produced mountain bike frames and components through the 1980s and into the 1990s. They sold Cook Bros. Racing in 1984.

"We are very excited about acquiring the rights to the Cook Bros. Racing brand," said Marc Côté, ABC's owner. "We already have a full line of Neo Retro and retro-mod components in development. We'll offer handlebars, stems, seat clamps, and other parts suitable for the retro crowd or even BMX racers looking for something unique for their modern race bikes."

In addition, headsets and cranks also will be offered. ABC also plans to sell brake sets and hubs co-branded with Box Components.

"We have a lot of ideas up our sleeves," said Côté, a Canadian entrepreneur with a background in robotic engineering, and film and television production. "ABC is staffed by a team who value the accomplishments of the past, but have an eye on the future. And although we believe we understand the subtleties of the retro and modern BMX race worlds, we know that crossing back and forth between the two is tricky. We believe we will have a product lineup that can do that and which will live up to the legacies of the Cook Bros. Racing, Bottema and Race Inc. brand names."

The new Uni stem and seat clamp.

Race Inc. is a brand that dates to the early days of BMX. Race Inc. had 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.

The Jeff Bottema BMX fork will be updated for modern standards. Bottema raced from the mid-1970s through the mid-1980s. In 1979, he launched Jeff Bottema Forks with a heavy-duty design that featured thicker tubing than others and legs that extended about an inch below the dropouts, giving the forks an unmistakable profile.

The original forks are treasured by collectors, and Bottema has worked with several frame builders to reintroduce them over the years, but none of the previous agreements has lasted.

Topics associated with this article: Mergers & Acquisitions

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