Ever since Tim Kruger made a choice to alter his career path, it seems that he is only doing good for the cycling community. He started with Advocate Cycles early this year, a new bike company that gives back profits to cycling advocacy efforts. He then announced the development and production of a 150mm fat bike dynamo hub, in conjunction with Shutter Precision and Cycle Monkey. Just yesterday, Tim has launched his second company, Red Bear Products. Red Bear Products will provide a platform for smaller and more difficult to find wheelgood companies and distribute their products to the United States. We asked Tim a few questions regarding his recent launch in conjunction with the official press release from Red Bear Products. Where did your passion for bicycles come from? I was raised being outside, and I love to be in the woods.  As a teenager I found mountain bikes, and that they could take me into the woods further. As an adult, being in the woods longer is a great mental break from regular life.  Bikes have just always been there to help get out in the woods. There are so many manufactures in this industry, do you feel that sometimes the small guys get pushed around a bit? Yes, for sure.  They get pushed for margin, they get back-of-the-line treatment at vendors, and it all makes it very hard for a company to enter the industry.  The old mantra of “how to you make a million dollars in the bike industry? Start with $2M” is because small companies have to go years without a profit just to get a foot in the door.  I’ve already got both feet firmly planted, so that is what I am trying to do with Red Bear, is give David the upper hand on Goliath. America has a huge cycling market, what does this give Kuroshiro and Bouwmeester Composites? Well, the obvious thing is sales.  But really, it gives them the chance to become worldwide brands.  Even though the Euro market is bigger in size, the US market is the style and trendsetters.  Being in the US market is important to grow outside of your own local market.  Both companies have been having success in their local regions in the past year, and now they are ready to go worldwide. When did this idea arise? Well, I spent quite a bit of time on the other side of this equation, and it was easy to be the big guy, and get what you want.  But my heart always felt for these guys trying to make something.  Im also in that same position with my other company Advocate Cycles, so between the two companies, and consulting I am doing for several other bike brands, I am trying to bring a critical mass of small companies together, to have a fighting chance.  The whole idea came together because I am very keenly aware of the tactics larger companies use to squeeze out smaller ones from my time as a shop manager and at a large distributor.  But the innovation and leadership is in the small guys, and that’s where I want to be too. It seems like you are giving a lot back to the cycling community recently, is there any end in sight or can we expect more from you? Yep, a lot more.  We are firing on all cylinders, and you can expect 4 new brands out of me in the next year.  2 that I own, and will be more bikepacking/long bike ride specific, and 2 that I am consulting on that will bring big-company level engineering, testing and production to niche market applications. Will you be at Interbike or Outerbike? Where can folks come say hello?  Yes!  Red Bear and Advocate Cycles, as well as SP hubs are all in booth 24211 at Interbike!  Stop by and say hi!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

Tim Krueger Announces Red Bear Products, A Wheelgoods Distributor for Kuroshiro and Bouwmeester Composites to North America

Tim Krueger announces his second new company this year, Red Bear Products.  Red Bear Products will be a distributor of bicycle wheelgoods, concentrating on industry-leading technology, hard-to-find brands, high-quality handbuilds and excellent service to retailers.

Kuroshiro Action

Red Bear Products will start at Interbike by distributing Kuroshiro carbon fiber rims from Italy and Bouwmeester Composites carbon fiber enduro wheels from Australia.

“I didn’t set out to build a distribution company” explains Krueger. “But a lot of small, innovative companies need more than just distribution, they need solid technical representation. After talking with Kuroshiro and Bouwmeester about their challenges with large distributors, we decided to build a distribution company that focuses on the highly technical nature of wheels, and properly speaks for these leading-edge companies.”

KUROSHIRO

Kuroshiro, from Ravenna, Italy is launching the Enso 6105 rim at Interbike, a 105mm-wide carbon fiber fat bike rim that weighs only 525 grams.  A companion to their Enso 685 launched last year at 85mm wide, this single-wall carbon fiber rim can be run tubeless without any tape, since the nipples seal the rim.

“Kuroshiro rims are built by Alchemist Bikes in Italy” said Krueger. “This is much more than being able to say Made in Italy though. They are produced under extreme heat and pressure in an autoclave, which is a process almost never used in the bicycle industry due to the high machinery cost, but it builds a much better product than the more typical bladder molding.”

Kuroshiro offers 4 rims models, the Enso 685 (85mm wide fat bike), the Enso 6105 (105mm wide fat bike), Enso 950 (50mm wide 29+ rim) and the Enso 747 (47mm wide 27+ rim).  All are offered in 32 holes, and can be sold as rims-only, or built into complete wheels by Red Bear Products.

BOUWMEESTER

Bouwmeester Composites from Adelaide, Australia has been producing the Tammar v4.8 for about a year, and is ready to bring their motocross-inspired single-wall laminate wheelset to the US. The Tammar v.4.8 is the result of almost a hundred iterations of design, consultations with laminate experts from aerospace, and in-house production methods not available at major carbon fiber rim makers.

“Bouwmeester Tammar wheels boast a very unique single-wall design that is a very thick laminate to be extremely impact resistant,” said Krueger. “From the first time I rode them, I knew there was a market for these with the growing enduro market in the USA that is demanding extremely light, impact resistant, and wide rims. The Tammar wheels are better than anything else on the market in each requirement.”

“Tim at Red Bear Products has a wealth industry experience which is coupled with a passion and technical knowledge of wheels that isn’t easy to find” said Mello Bouwmeester, President of Bouwmeester Composites. “We feel this balance of skills and a focus on customer service is what is needed to effectively distribute highly technical products and offer support in the marketplace. We are excited to see Red Bear Products bring Bouwmeester Composites to the US.”

All products from both Kuroshiro and Bouwmeester are in stock in Minnesota immediately.  Kuroshiro Enso rims retail for $950 each for any of the sizes, and Bouwmeester Tammar v4.8 wheelsets retail for $2,850 with DT Swiss 240 hubs. Dealer and wheel builder programs are available. They can be seen at booth 24211 at Interbike, and Red Bear Products can be reached at tim@redbearproducts.com or 612-361-7290

One Comment

  1. What is the cost for 6105 and I-9 hubs

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