With an eye on growth in North America, Focus USA returns to Interbike
LAS VEGAS (BRAIN) — The company is exhibiting both at OutDoor Demo (Booths D3140 and D2010) and at Mandalay Bay (Booth 21207) and sponsoring the first e-MTB Challenge at CrossVegas. Additionally, the brand’s founder flew over for the first time from Germany to experience the show.
Predominately known for its cyclocross and road bikes, Focus was founded in Germany in 1993 by cyclocross world champion Mike Kluge. The company designed its first e-bikes in 2010, and has been selling them in the U.S. since 2015.
The German brand, which is owned by Dutch conglomerate Pon Holdings, recently appointed Dan Delehanty as the general manager of its U.S. business. Delehanty came on board July 1 and is tasked with growing Focus and sister brand Kalkhoff in the prized North American market. Delehanty comes to Focus USA after spending six years at BMC as director of sales. He has worked in the bike industry for eight years, and also worked in the automotive industry.
Prior to Delehanty, Focus USA hadn’t had a GM for a good four years. But Pon and Derby Cycle “take this market very seriously, see tremendous growth potential for Focus and Kalkhoff and will invest money to grow the market,” Delehanty said.
“Our participation at Interbike shows that Focus is very serious about the North American market and sees a great opportunity. We are excited to be here. The last event in Vegas. I’m a little nostalgic. This will be my seventh Interbike and the last time in Vegas.
“We consider ourselves a go-to for bike shops because we deliver on two of the major segments: pedal and e-bikes,” Delehanty added. “We don’t do e-bikes because it’s fashionable. In our lineup, e-bikes are absolutely critical. We consider it on par with pedal bikes. We see that side of the business growing and growing.”
To that end, Delehanty plans to expand his sales staff, which currently consists of two sales people he shares with fellow Pon brand Cervélo. But he expects to hire East and Midwest regional managers to help grow the e-bike business.
“One of the things that can hurt you in e-bikes is if you don’t have good inside sales and support for the shops,” Delehanty said. “I really want to focus on not only the sales side and increasing our sales, but beefing up our staff on the inside so when customers have questions we answer the phones.”
Here at Demo and at Mandalay Bay, dealers will see a greatly expanded lineup of e-bikes from Focus and Kalkhoff, which is almost on par with its non-assisted lineup in terms of number of models. Among the highlights are its new e-mountain bikes, the Bold and the Jam Squared, which feature Shimano’s STEPS E8000 electric drive and a proprietary Focus-designed battery system called Tailored Energy Concept (T.E.C.), an adjustable dual-battery system that allows riders to carry as much energy as needed for the terrain and duration of a given ride.
Focus is the first manufacturer given the nod by Shimano to develop a proprietary battery system. With T.E.C., riders can use the frame-integrated battery only, or attach the optional T.E.C. Pack to the top of the downtube, doubling watt-hour performance to 756Wh.
“Our e-bike design philosophy is that they must look and perform just like regular bikes, with the only difference being that they have motorized pedal assist,” Kluge said. “Our T.E.C. system results in a slimmer and lighter e-bike, and with short chainstays and a low Q-factor (175 millimeters), the pedal position is the same as non-electric bikes, resulting in a ride that is agile and uncompromising.”
At Bootleg Canyon, Focus has a fleet of Bold and Jam Squared e-bikes ready for retailers to demo. But it will also have its full line of pedal bikes, including its popular new Paralane, an all-road/adventure bike, for demo.