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  • Writer's pictureMo Awesome

Evil Bikes Announces Company Layoffs, Why is This Happening?

Updated: Feb 18


EVIL Following website


I woke up this morning and after a little bit of coffee started reading up on bike industry news only to see that Evil Bikes had announced company layoffs. It feels like this is something I have seen a lot of in the bike industry lately but this one struck me a bit differently. Don’t get me wrong, you never want someone to lose their job, but for whatever reason when I have read about bigger corporations doing this it doesn’t feel as severe as when a smaller company has to. I don’t know much about Evil, other than they had one of the most game changing 29ers with the Following followed by the Wreckoning. I would assume they are a smaller company staff-wise, doing big things in the bike world. Brands like this are normally more passion based and have more of a family dynamic within the company, which I'm sure made this even harder on them. 


The layoffs  made me think more of what is happening in the bike industry. I'm sure you have heard that it is hard times, and it is. Covid was somewhat of a bike selling bubble and popped when people had less time and a job to go to. However, talking to my friends that own bike shops, people are still buying bikes. Sales for the most part don’t seem to be down on the bike shop end and in fact one could argue that more bikes are being sold now than pre-pandemic. What’s the difference? People want a deal, and not just any deal, insane deals. And why would they not? With companies like Specialized doing 40% off bikes, Knolly just running a promotion for almost 60% off bikes, Ibis with 25% off their entire lineup, Kona at one point seemingly doing a buy 1 get free promo, and an endless amount of other promotions, you don't want to be stuck with a bike at full price. 


But does it have to be this way? Will bikes only sell at this price? In my opinion, the bike industry is currently taking a wound and making it deeper and more infected (sorry for the graphics). I feel like the longer companies try to blow out their inventory, the harder it's going to be to recover from this period in the bike industry timeline. I understand that for some companies that might be sitting on close to a billion dollars worth of inventory that might be tough, but long term, aggressive discounts are not the answer. 


What blowing out this inventory is doing is absolutely wrecking the used bike market. After all, why would you want to buy a used bike for 60% off when you can get a brand new one for 50% off? So if you have an older bike you have been meaning to upgrade, you missed the boat, and you can't buy anything. This leads to even fewer sales which prolongs that inventory moving even further. This affects everyone, from bike shops to employees at bike companies. While I know that bigger bike brands have to do this to keep their doors open as well, in my opinion that is what is prolonging all of this.


And if you are a brand that can’t match some of the pricing of these bigger corporations? That is what’s going to be the interesting part. Specialized, Trek, Giant, and any one of those big corporations are not going to go out of business. They are way too big and also, I would argue, the bike industry won’t let them. Can you imagine how many companies and bike shops would be taken out if say Specialized went out of business? Imagine all of the suspension and drivetrain orders SRAM has that is allocated for them in the next few years. And imagine how many bike shops exist that are dependent on Specialized being their brand. No one is going to let this happen, it's not a possibility.


But who's going to stick up for smaller companies that still play a crucial role in our sport and arguably make better bikes because they can specialize in a few models? That’s going to be the interesting part and I think where you will start to see brand loyalty playing a huge role in this. I think if you are a brand that is able to continue to innovate and make cool things while maintaining a lower overhead, you are going to make it through these next few years. People want good bikes and if the bikes themselves have more soul, the better. 


What do I think should happen? I think bigger corporations blowing out their inventory should have to pay a fine for absolutely wreaking havoc on the bike market, and those fines should be pooled together and split amongst other bike brands that are fighting to just keep up. Does this make any sense or have any degree of practicality? No, but it's Saturday morning and these are my thoughts regurgitated onto my keyboard, why would you think that it would? 


-Mo Awesome


2 comentarios


Jack Herrer
Jack Herrer
24 feb

Bike companies should stop attaching a model year to bikes and just refer to them by generation of the model. If they make a small change like going to UDH on a frame that is otherwise the same it would be for example gen 2.1 or whatever. No need to use the auto industry practice where a bike depreciates while sitting in the LBS showroom just because it is from the previous season.

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adlerjs
18 feb

Revenue sharing like in professional baseball. The bigger market teams pay into a pool where the smaller markets share based on payroll. That’s a cooperative league. Unfortunately, the bike industry is not. Think capitalism Mo! The big corporate backed brands eat up the smaller ones. it sucks!

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