Author Archives: Ray Keener

BPSA E-Bike Training Program Launches

Boulder, CO: The Bicycle Product Suppliers Association (BPSA) has produced a series of 10 two-minute video training sessions to help shop staff connect with and sell e-bikes.

The BPSA E-bike Committee, comprised of 14 industry company representatives, approved the budget for the program after the E-Bike Summit in mid-December.

BPSA Executive Director Ray Keener, with an extensive history in staff training, co-produced the video with long-time collaborator Chuck Smith of Straw Hat Pictures in Arvada, CO.

“This is an exciting time for e-bike sales in the IBD,” Noted Larry Pizzi, BPSA E-Bike Committee Chair and President of IZIP and Raleigh Electric. “According to NPD Group, sales show strong growth, up more than four times since 2013 in the Dealer channel. This indicates a unique opportunity for IBD’s that embrace the category, and now is the time to get staff trained up and charged up about electric bikes.”

The ten videos present both market context and selling tips. “We shot at six different shops and interviewed about 20 shop staff and customers,” noted Keener. “We did focus groups with shop rookies and veterans, got a good response and made some changes, too.”

The training program is live on the Myagi training website as of March 1. Soon, the content will be available on the Trek, Specialized, Giant, Raleigh Electric, and Bosch training sites as well. A two-minute sample video, the first in the series of 10, “The E-Bike Appeal,” is available here.

BPSA Seeks Comments on CPSC Rule Change

The Consumer Product Safety Commission is proposing a rule change that would affect importers and manufacturers of bikes, helmets, cycling apparel and children’s products, and is accepting written comments on the proposed change. Comments are due by July 29.

The proposed rule would amend existing regulation on the certificates of compliance that companies must fill out and supply for product tested to meet the Consumer Product Safety Information Act (CPSIA), which was passed in 2008.

Among other things, it would require that the certificates be submitted electronically at the time of import for certified products; a company would have to indicate where the electronic certificate can be found on the product, shipping carton or invoice; and it would require changes to the information found on the certificates themselves, which must be kept a minimum of five years.

Matt Moore, general counsel for Quality Bicycle Products and chairman of the legal and legislative committee for the Bicycle Product Suppliers Association, said the rule change could potentially add cost and administrative burden for companies without much of an upside.

The BPSA is soliciting comments from all suppliers that are affected — whether they’re BPSA members or not. Moore said the BPSA plans to submit a comment on behalf of the industry and member companies.

“The original requirement to do the testing for products and create a certificate that says we did the testing and it meets applicable regulations, to me that seems to be enough,” Moore said. “Now the additional requirements might make it easier for the government to check up on those things, but it doesn’t improve the testing or safety of products.

“We want to gather information from compliance experts in the industry on what the worst features of this proposed rule are and what we should be pointing out to the agency and make suggestions for alternatives,” Moore said.

The BPSA is planning to host a conference call in coming weeks to begin industry dialogue. Companies interested in taking part should contact Matt Moore at mmoore@qbp.com or BPSA executive director Ray Keener at ray@growthcycle.net.

Suppliers can find the CPSC proposal and submit a formal comment at www.federalregister.gov/articles/2013/05/13/2013-11164/certificates-of-compliance.

Owner’s Manual Version 10 Released

BPSA Owner’s Manual content is licensed to bicycle manufacturers, saving each company money and time climbing the legal learning curve.

This manual, written by Tom Franges of Interskill and reviewed by numerous reviewers and legal counsel, is designed to provide bicycle purchasers with truly understandable information about their bicycles. The manual cannot be used or applied without signing the licensing agreement and paying the licensing fee to the owners’ manual fund.

The material provided in the manual is generic and can be used as a core for your company manual. Your must review the manual to ensure that its statements are appropriate for your products. All companies who use the manual can enhance the material by including brand specific sales, marketing information, or additional information they deem appropriate.

The initial license fee for using the owner’s manual is $3,000 for non-members with a discount price of $2,000 for BPSA members.

In addition to this initial fee, all companies who use the manual will be charged in subsequent years an annual license fee ($2,000 for non-members, $1,500 for BPSA members) which will be used to support updates to the manual as well as administrative and legal costs associated with the program.

The copyright for the information in the manual is owned by the Bicycle Product Suppliers Association (BPSA). Any company who elects to use a manual must sign a licensing agreement with the BPSA. The licensing agreement is available for your review from BPSA headquarters. The manual cannot be used without signing and returning the agreement.

The manual is available on camera ready print form, or in a variety of electronic forms. Please contact BPSA headquarters if you require additional information.

New BPSA Board Members

Welcome Megan Tompkins of Bicycle Retailer and Industry News, Larry Pizzi of Currie Tech, and John Munhall of Giant Bicycle to the BPSA Board of Directors.

Tompkins, BRaIN’s Publisher and former Editor-in-Chief, was elected to the BPSA Board at the April Membership meeting at the 2014 Bicycle Leadership Conference (BLC). Tompkins will chair the BLC planning committee, and is also a former Board member of the Outdoor Industries Women’s Coalition (OIWC).

Pizzi, Currie Tech’s President, was elected in late June 2014. Pizzi’s successful industry background goes back to his retail days at Bike Tech in Philadelphia and includes stints with Service Cycle, Bell Sports, Schwinn/GT and Brunswick. Pizzi also serves on the Board of the Light Electric Vehicle Association (LEVA).

Munhall, Director of Product Management at Giant Bicycle, was elected in late June 2014. With a history in the bicycle industry that dates back to the BMX track and bicycle retail, Munhall was a small business owner before returning to the bicycle industry in the late 90’s. He has been with Giant for the past 10 years.

Huge thanks to departing BPSA Board members Chris Speyer of Accell and Elysa Walk of Giant for their combined decade of service.

BPSA Urges End to Labor Deadlock

Boulder, CO: A west-coast dock strike is looming when the current contract with the Longshore and Warehouse union expires June 30th. The BPSA joins dozens of other US trade associations in urging a quick settlement.

Here are excerpts from the letter sent by BPSA President Roger Gierhart to both the Longshore union leadership and the Pacific Maritime Association’s CEO James McKenna, representing the shippers:

“According to U.S. Government data, approximately 16 million bicycles and more than 110 million various parts and accessories were imported to the United States in 2013. Given our industry’s heavy reliance on the U.S. ports to get its products to consumers, we urge you to make every attempt possible to conclude an agreement on a new contract before the current contract expires on June 30, 2014. It is critical that a new agreement be reached without disruptions to the movement of freight.

BPSA joins the dozens of other industry organizations in urging that you move quickly to negotiate a resolution, even if discussions need to go beyond the date the current labor agreement expires. A failure to reach an agreement will have a significant negative impact on the bicycle industry, as it will on the U.S. economy as a whole.”

For more information about this and other BPSA issues or programs, contact Ray Keener, BPSA Executive Director, ray@bpsa.org, (303) 442-2466