How Mountain Bike Shoes Work, with Rick Reed from Ride Concepts [Podcast #281]

Photo: Trevor Lyden.

Rick Reed is the Brand Manager for Ride Concepts, a mountain bike footwear company based in Reno, Nevada. Before joining Ride Concepts, he was a sales director at Five Ten. In this episode we ask Rick:

  • Why are mountain bike shoes more expensive than “regular” shoes? Is there really an advantage to wearing something made specifically for biking?
  • How does pedal grip translate to trail grip when it’s time to hike-a-bike?
  • Is there a sweet spot when it comes to sole stiffness? Is stiffer always better, at least when you’re on the pedals?
  • What do you think about the trend toward moving cleat positions back toward the mid foot?
  • Are there advantages to using traditional laces instead of Velcro or something like a Boa, or is that just for aesthetics?  
  • What types of features can be built into a shoe to provide protection against injury?
  • What are the biggest constraints when it comes to designing a good bike shoe?
  • How is the environmental footprint factored in when designing a pair of shoes? Are there ways the impact can be minimized?
  • Where are most mountain bike shoes manufactured?
  • How are women’s mountain bike shoes different from men’s shoes?
  • When you sponsor athletes like Rachael Atherton, do you have a way of quantifying the return on that investment? Do influencers move the needle to a similar degree?

Get more info about some of the shoes we covered in this episode at RideConcepts.com.

A full, automatically-generated transcript of this podcast conversation is available to Singletracks supporters.

Please log in to your account to access this content.

Transcript

Jeff
Hey, everybody, welcome to the Singletracks podcast. My name is Jeff and today my guest is Rick Reed. Rick is the brand manager for ride concepts a mountain bike footwear company based in Reno, Nevada, a for joining ride concepts. He was Sales Director at 510. Thanks for joining us, Rick.

Rick
Thanks for having me, Jeff, really excited to be on the program.

Jeff
So have you always been a mountain biker?

Rick
Not always. When I you know, as a child, I was playing in the woods, and you know, being a little dirty kid in rural Pennsylvania. And so I first was exposed to bikes, you know, when I was like, probably three or four years old. And, you know, that’s how we explored around the woods and got around. But I definitely was not a mountain biker. I started to get into riding motorcycles and raced motocross in my younger years through high school a little bit into college, and, you know, actually was then introduced to mountain biking by my dad who started to dabble in it a bit himself, then, you know, when I was still 1618, you want to have a motor right? And bicycles aren’t, aren’t that fun. So, but it’s a lot of work. And it’s just like, I can go faster on my dirt bike and hit bigger jobs, you know, was more fun. But basically, I right after right around coming out of college, we took a family trip to Mammoth, and I tried downhill for the first time. And that’s what just sold me on mountain biking. I was like, Okay, this is like motocross without a motor, and you know, super fun and I can wear flat pedals and not be clipped in. And so that was the beginning of the transition out of like, you know, riding moto so much and racing moto to eventually becoming a mountain biker. And that’s kind of just you know, how it’s progressed to. Now, you know, Riding Mountain bikes a lot and being a crucial part of life and obviously, also part of my career, which is awesome.

Jeff Barber 2:25
Yeah, yeah, that’s cool. Well, I gotta ask you, what, what shoes were you wearing at Mammoth that day?

Rick 2:31
Like I remember, I still have them. So that was a pair of vans. And I think it was like, the Jeff rally. Vans from back in the day a little bit thicker, bulkier, because, you know, this was like, 2004 or something. But what happened then was that like I said, like, you know, anytime I’ve been mountain biking before that, especially growing up and back in rural Pennsylvania, you know, super rocky terrain, more XC style, so I was wearing clips, and you were on a, you know, I was riding a giant NRS, which we joked around stood for No, your suspension, like it had had a rear shock, but it didn’t really work. So anyway, yeah. We’re vans, I remember, at Mammoth and I was just like, wow, this is so cool. You know, you can literally ride a bike like this and not have to be clipped in. And that’s suited my style coming from Moto. So I did a little research then as I started to get more into mountain biking, got my first you know, all mountain freeride bike. And that’s where I was doing, you know, forum searches and discovered this brand 510 It’s like, oh, it’s a climbing company. But they make this one shoe called the impact. And, you know, that was the beginning of it. For me. It was like, I remember getting that first pair of legit shoes with with good sticky rubber and walking across mom’s floor and being like, this is crazy, you know? And that just changed everything. It’s like, Yeah, you don’t have to clip in if you don’t want to. And I guess that was the beginning of the of the revolution for me. And the rest is history.

Jeff
Well Ride Concepts launched at what ended up being the last Interbike in 2018 in Reno, which is basically I mean, that’s where your your company is based. Now, what was the reception like there at that time?

Rick
You know, it was it was really positive, but it was also different because that was the first Reno Interbike and so it’s a much smaller show, but I know the show had already been shrinking for years you know, in Vegas that that show is getting smaller and smaller each year. So you came to Reno it was that much smaller. It was so cool to do it in our backyard and and do it here. I mean, we had you know, rushed to get sales programs together and everything just in time for the show. We didn’t have product yet. We just had some samples of the first several flat pedal shoes. And when we had we had the early samples of the premium line too, but they you know, wouldn’t come out for another eight months or something. But it was it was really cool. All because a lot of people weren’t expecting a new footwear focus brand to just pop up, you know, at the show. And people were just, there was a lot of questions like, who’s funding you? How are you guys doing that? How are these things happening. And that was kind of a fun thing, because it’s like, you know, I already knew a lot of people from my past is, you know, across retail and things, and they were just like, really excited to see something fresh, that was the main thing of like, wow, someone else is coming into the market with a legitimate product, and a full offering. Like, it wasn’t just, we were looking at one shoe, you know, we were focused on footwear. And we had a full line to show even if it wasn’t quite available yet. And we started shipping products several months after the Interbike shell. But now that the reception was really positive and and we we won Best of Show with our booth to it was Powell booth by a local guy here, you know, a lot of wood and recycled materials and in pallets and things and just some artwork, you know, we didn’t even have tog Rafi back then we just had some artwork to try to guide the launch the brand. But it was kind of cool to invest and show when we you know, are brand new to as a as an organization.

Jeff Barber 6:16
Yeah. Were you surprised by the enthusiasm around the brand? Or? Or were you pretty confident going into it? That, you know, yeah, the the mountain bike market needs something different, something new in this area?

Rick 6:31
No, we were definitely confident that the market needed this. And it needed a fresh approach. So what had kind of become a stale category, you know, we knew that, that we needed progressive design of the product and a different way of having a brand that was just focused on by footwear, especially in the mountain bike waiting segment. So we were confident going into it. But of course, there’s a lot of unknowns, you know, I mean, it’s like, Are people gonna like the styles, the colors that we’re launching with? And we were a bit, you know, we launched a bit more on the conservative side, the sense of like, colors and offerings like it, we weren’t coming out with anything, it was insane looking or, you know, it was it was your kind of general colorways it played a little bit safe in that sense. And we think that the main thing was we knew we had competitive price points, like, especially with our Livewire, $100, flat pedal shield, there’s a lot packed into that shoot 100 bucks, and no one else in the market was doing that. So we knew that we were coming out with something fresh. We had text stories with specialist partners like d3. Oh, and impact protection. You know, it’s we were coming in pretty confident, for sure. But it was you never know what, what kind of expectation you’re gonna get reception, you’re gonna get totally. And I think that we exceeded expectations, we came out of that show feeling really good and really excited.

Jeff Barber 7:51
Yeah, that’s cool. Well, yeah, I mean, you mentioned the the sort of competitive price points and $100 for a pair of bike shoes, you know, I mean, all things considered, that’s not that bad. But to a lot of people still, it does seem like mountain bike shoes are more expensive than regular shoes, especially when, you know, like you experienced yourself, you know, you can kind of get away with some more, you know, general purpose shoes, when you’re first starting out, Is there really an advantage to wearing something specifically made for biking?

Rick 8:26
Of course, there’s, it’s, it’s purpose built, you know, just like any of the other apparel items, or, you know, other things that we use in the sport for gear, it’s going to have a different price point than may be, you know, when you say, Oh, my every day shoe or everyday shorts or something like that, but it’s, you know, you have to think about how different it really is like, yeah, sure, a pair of hands can be 6080 bucks, whatever. But there may be a casual shoe or maybe a skate shoe or something like that you don’t have all of the protection built into it, you don’t have all the different performance materials and, you know, our specific outsole designs, the tolling of into those materials and outdoor designs, etc. And then of course, there’s economies of scale where just to take, for example, a company like vans is building millions of pairs of shoes is a massive global company. And I mean, of course, nothing against them, and look what they’ve done. You know, they’ve been around since 66. And they continue to get more and more popular. It’s, I mean, not many companies can say that, especially in a sense of fashion. And in gear like that. I mean, you know, every kid in California has to have a pair of vans or five pairs, right? Like, and that’s just California to give an example. But, you know, it’s you look at any kind of performance product that’s built for a specific sport and you’re going to pay more whether that’s as much as a snowboard or ski boot where you’re looking in your motorcycle boot any of that hundreds and hundreds of dollars, right? That’s very, very custom and purpose built and there are only so Selling, you know how many of them compared to a tennis shoe or a running shoe? That sure there’s plenty of technology that goes into it, but your economies of scale are huge, because you have so many people using a running shoe or a tennis shoe, you know, mountain biking is a little bit more niche than that. So not only are you in a sense of the economies of scale, you know, we’re not selling that much in quantity compared to products like that are big players like Nike, Adidas, vans, whatever, that’s selling mass market shoes, but you know, we’re, we have very specific needs and the types of materials that we need the tooling that we need to come up with to have a clipless shoe or a flat pedal shoe. You know, it’s very specific for sure. So, you know, these materials have performed, whether that’s an upper material that needs to be, you know, weather resistant, but breathable, you know, gusset and tongs and the protection we use and our toe and heel, and you know, all these different elements that have to come together that you have to source and design and have come out still at a at a price that that makes some sense, you know, that you do obviously have some challenges and restraints there.

Jeff Barber 11:09
Right? Yeah. Well, then, I mean, that’s a really interesting example and brings to mind another question that I didn’t even realize I had, but you know, vans is seen as I mean, it’s a it’s a fashion brand, in a lot of ways now. And I don’t know that it started out that way. Do you see mountain bike culture, being in a position where perhaps they could influence style in that way? Like you said, initially, the designs were, were very conservative with ride concept shoes, but do you see the potential to maybe break new ground and then that like, sort of spilling over into other markets where people are like, hey, that’s just a cool shoe. Like, I’m not a mountain biker. Just like, I’m not a skateboarder, but that’s a that’s a good looking shoe that I would wear?

Rick 11:57
Yeah, I mean, I think it’s happened in the past and action sports in general. Maybe it’s not necessarily biking, but like, it certainly has happened in in moto. He looked at a brand like Fox, you know, that was able to break out of just motocross and become more lifestyle. And I remember when, like, was it the Backstreet Boys ended up wearing like Fox chest protectors in a video in the late 90s.

Jeff Barber 12:23
Oh, wow. That’s quite an endorsement. Yeah.

Rick 12:27
Yeah, there’s, there’s this read and things like that. I mean, you know, that we’re not looking at it that way. Like, we’re definitely focused on building specific product for mountain bike BMX, you know, any kind of thing that revolves in that kind of dirt Focus segment for us. But we, you know, do have capabilities of kind of expanding upon that, and, you know, having other items that might appeal to people who definitely get into the sport and, but want to be a bit more diverse as well. So, I mean, those design elements, you know, obviously, now bikers, a lot of people are focused on fashion and stuff, but we’re all still nerds. Right? Like, we’re, it’s a fun part of the sport to have, you know, fun cats and, and gear. Are we ever going to are we ever going to influence outside of sport a whole lot? I don’t know. Who knows, you know, fashion is a tricky thing. But I think we all take our cues from a lot of inspiration of other parts of of sports or music or art or something, you know, so it’s kind of a cyclical thing, right?

Jeff Barber 13:40
Yeah, definitely. Yeah, I remember one time riding mountain bikes with some friends in the city here in Atlanta and we’re stopped at a stoplight and a guy you know in this flashy must have been like a BMW or some rolls down his window and he asked me hey man, what are those shoes and you know, I was wearing these like, I don’t know what they were some with a boa you know, a really xe kind of oriented shoe or whatever and and you know, I said oh, these are you know, either forget what they were looks or something like that. And he was like, Oh man, those look looks super cool. And I was just surprised at that because it was like really, I never really thought about that but but it is so different, you know, from like other footwear because it is purpose built and purpose designed. And yeah, I could see that having an appeal maybe to a certain demographic.

Rick 14:32
Well, it does, you know, our Vice line. We launched device last summer and we’ll be adding to it here very soon with additional models but it’s that shoe that’s like it’s still a bike shoe but it’s also very lifestyle looking and we can have cool patterns. You know, we have one that’s camo and they certainly do catch people’s eye whether or not they ride bikes, you know, you get feedback and compliments on it. So I think that is cool, you know, to have that like street inspired stuff that people who Don’t ride can still look at and be like, Oh, those are awesome, you know, now we’re not necessarily going to drive down that path and, and become a lifestyle focus company. That’s not our goal and mission or anything. I agree, it’s awesome to have like a bike product that people take notice of and think is cool outside of sport, it’s, it’s, you know, like I said, we’re all we’re all bike nerds and live on our own world on that, but it’s always fun whenever other people can kind of, you know, kind of join that culture in some way and get something out of it.

Jeff Barber 15:36
Well, a big focus, especially with flat pedal bike shoes is how well the soul grips the pedals. Obviously, that’s, that’s a big part of it. But how does that same grip, you know, the kind of rubber to the, to the pins grip, translate to trail grip? When we’re talking about hike or bike? You know, it seems like the services that we’re walking on, you know, whether it be roots or rocks or you know, loose dirt are way different from pedals. So how do you kind of split the difference between those two things, or is that a hike or bike even a consideration?

Rick 16:13
It is, it’s, it’s a challenge for sure. Because when it comes to rubber applications, it’s much more purpose driven to work on the pedal, right. And that’s a combination, you know, I say it’s a package, it’s a package of your outsole design of the flex of your shoe, and of the rubber compound. So all those things have been taken into consideration for that shoe to perform well on the pedal. And of course, the type of rider you have, you know, and we do gender specific, fit and flex. So we consider youth we consider, you know, women, we consider men and take it all into consideration have a different shoe for each, just because you’re going to apply different amounts of pressure and your foot shape is going to be different too. So all these things come into consideration. And that’s, you know, to have the best connection possible on that pedal and still be durable. And then to add the element of a hiker bike again, you you need to look beyond just a rubber compound. But when you look at our premium line, or flat pedal shoes, such as the power line, or TNT, we use a specific hiker bike section on the toe and heel that’s a bit more recessed a bit of a different pattern, and the actual mold, so we feel that that’s adds a little bit of you know, more bites to a condition of like, roots, rocks, things like that. Also, the the flex of the shoe that, you know, it’s nice to have a little bit of flex in the toe area that allows you to use a little more, you know, friction on those surfaces when you’re off the bike. So you want to have some level of support when you’re on the pedal, but obviously not overly stiff, because that shoe needs to still bend around the pedal. So there’s all these different things to consider for sure. And I think still number one is, it’s got to work on the pedal because if it doesn’t work on the pedal, then it doesn’t even matter if if it works, aching or not. Because like, you know, if you’re not happy on the pedal, you’re not going to put those shoes on and go right and that’s that’s the main thing is you want to have a shoe that’s going to be awesome on the pedal. And still, obviously be comfortable on your hike or bike and hike or biking, but it’s got it’s got to flex to do that, it’s going to do a number of things. And it’s an even the opposite take into consideration the upper because when you’re when you’re off the trail, and you’re walking around, I mean, you know, you could have great grip, but if you have a shoe that has super stiff upper that is just pinching the top of your foot when you’re trying to hike up some steep section that you’re that you’re you know, sessioning it’s that’s not fun, either. So, there’s just so much that goes into it. And that’s why we test the product, you know, that’s why we we do stuff we go out and we test it and you know, we’re we’re a ride around company, we all ride and that’s what we do on a daily basis is your launch rides or after work, whatever, it’s, it’s testing out the new stuff. And that’s one of the things I like most about this is, you know, for the ones that are that are using it wearing it.

Jeff Barber 19:14
Yeah, it’s funny, it seems like in a lot of ways over the years, bikers have kind of bought into this myth there are these like special compounds that you know, are basically you know, turn you into Spider Man where you can even like walk up anything with them and things that I’ve found that work really well on the pedals don’t necessarily work very well from you know, trying to walk across a slippery log or something like that. Right. And you mentioned flex, being able to, you know, add more pressure onto your your ball of your foot or your heel you know if you’re in a hike or bike situation. Is there a sweet spot when it comes to soul stiffness? Seems like we’ve been told for biking that stiffer soul is always better, at least when you’re on the pedals. But again, we’re not always on our pedals, aren’t we?

Rick 20:07
Now, and, you know, I think it comes down a couple of things. It’s personal preference, it’s sometimes exactly what you said, being told that and then thinking that that’s what you have to do. And thinking that’s the answer. And I don’t think it always is, like, personally, I prefer a shoe with some level of stiffness as compared to something that’s extremely Flexi, and doesn’t have a midsole or something. But, you know, all of our shoes are built with, with midsole. And we have, you know, good construction. So you’re not just using a cheap cop out selling everything with no midsole, I mean, our Vice, she was born with a cup outsole which you pad allows a little more flex, and some of our other shoes, but we still have three millimeters of EBA in there, which you don’t typically find in a cup outsole. So we, we try to find that right balance with everything. And I think every shoe has its purpose as well. So like, you know, we have some shoes in the line, they’re going to be a little bit stiffer like the Hellion. But then the power line that actually does feature that specific hiker bike tread on the tail on the heel, that shoe actually flexes a little bit more. So you know, it’s stiffer, always better. No, it’s you have to have pedal field number one, when you’re on flat pedals. You know, even having great rubber, great friction, you still have to be able to feel that pedal to some degree. So if you’ve got a student’s insanely stiff, you’re you’re not going to feel feel that pedal at all. So there’s certainly a balance to strike here. And it’s a lot of things to consider those things too. As you know, we have used two different rubber compounds on our flat pedal shoes, we have Max grip, which is 4.0, meaning the diameter is in the 40 range. And then our high grip, which is 6.0 means barometers and the 60 range. So that’s a little bit firmer, you know, the 4.0 softer. And so the 4.0 allows for a little bit more pedal feel, and a bit more additional flex, as well, because it’s softer. So it’s, you know, trying to find what the right rider for the right condition, you know, what, what are you looking for? And it’s, it’s good to help guide people too, because like, again, you know, they might have heard all I heard I need something stiff? Well, it’s like, well, what kind of writing? Are you doing? You know, what, how much? How much? Are you doing hiker bikes? Let’s find the right shoe for you, rather than just saying, you know, oh, you you need stiffness? Well, not everyone does. And it’s, we think they might actually shouldn’t and should probably be looking at different directions. So I think it’s just educating the, you know, educating everyone on on the options out there and features and benefits, you know, what kind of Ryan Do you do? Okay, this, I think is going to be probably the way you want to, you want to head towards and try this instead. And that’s, you know, that’s what we hope to do with with our customers is try to help point them in the right direction and what fits what they’re doing, you know, rather than just having a blanket statement of saying like, Oh, all shoes should be this or something like that?

Jeff Barber 23:11
Yeah, well, ride concepts is known, mostly for flat pedal shoes. So what you guys started out with initially, but you do also offer some clipless models. I’m interested to know what you think about the trend toward moving cleat positions toward that back on the shoe toward the mid foot? Is that a reaction to sort of getting closer to how people ride flat pedals? Or is it about something different?

Rick 23:38
I think a lot of it is it’s you know, dropping the heel, being able to do that being able to get a bit more aggressive and realizing that in most aspects of mountain biking that the power isn’t all coming from the ball of your foot. You know, it’s it’s also the thing is as our writing styles change is a terrain that we ride changes and as bike geometry changes, these are very important things to consider. You know, I mean, the the geometry the bikes that we’re riding now and the capabilities of these bikes are so much more than what they were 568 years ago. It’s crazy, right? You know, we’re seeing enduro bikes, all mountain bikes coming out with 63 to 64 degree head angles, which a downhill bike didn’t even have a handful of years ago. Your your reach and your length is getting longer, you know, your your position on the bike has changed so much. So of course that’s going to affect your contact points, you know, wider handlebars, different contact points from your on your hands than it was five, eight years ago. Pedals are way different. You know, when it comes to flat pedals, our pedals have gotten a lot larger, which is great, you know, more platform more grip. It makes total sense. So I think that what you’re saying that there is something there and sense of people that have written flat pedals and it might also clip in saying like, you know, it doesn’t really make tends to have your cleat all the way forward. And then the challenges that presents in footwear design is that you’re that you design different cleat box windows and cleat plates to accommodate that. And even when you look at like the the outsole of the shoe and you’re looking at the alignment of the cleat plate, you have to consider where the key is going to be placed when you’re designing that cleat box. Because if someone runs there, you have limits on how long you can actually have a cleat plate because you know, it could break essentially also, when someone aligns their cleat all the way back versus all the way forward, it will change how that shoe and how your foot positions on the pedal, you know, like there’s so long that you realistically can kind of design for before something gets out of whack right before your foot starts pointing in the wrong direction or something, I think that you know, the trend of going back towards the further towards the middle of the shoe make it makes sense, it’s the type of writing we do to you know, we currently don’t have an SC specific shoe, we’re very much more focused on the trail all mountain and gravity segments. So it’s pretty rare to find a rider now that’s going to ride that type of terrain with the cleat weigh up on the toe, you know, it’s it’s further back. And again, a lot of that’s coming down to writing styles and bike geometries and things like that, it’s it’s going to be more comfortable for most people to have a little back easier to get in and out of the pedal things like that. And that’s what we try to design our shoes for, you know, we’ll or we’re building out that clip line, and there’s gonna be a lot more clip offerings coming from us in the future.

Well, let’s talk about shoe closures. Are there advantages to using traditional laces like a lot of ride concept shoes do versus using something like Velcro or boa? Are there advantages in terms of performance? Or is that more of an aesthetic consideration?

I think there’s advantages and disadvantages to all of them. And obviously, you know, using a traditional lace system allows you to keep the cost down to the consumer. Laces can break. Sure, but I think that that’s pretty uncommon. So you compare that to a fast dial closure system that is could be nice and technical. But the challenge is to that or what happens if it breaks on the trail, you know, you don’t you might not have a backup plan, there’s it’s just that there’s no ways closure. It’s it has its own positives and disadvantages to it. But you know, it also adds a lot of costs. So it’s not to say that we won’t have different closure systems in the future. I think that there’s a lot of good options out there, but it’s always just weighing that, you know, benefit over the risk of what happens if it breaks, what happens if it fails? And you know, how much does the consumer want to pay to have that feature? So yeah, you know, now we are on a on a lace closure system for all of our shoes. Some of them also have the power strap such as our TNT flat pedal shoe or our transition into reverse clips shoes. So there’s obviously a lot of opinions out there on on what is the best or? But yeah, we’ll be expanding upon it for sure. You know, we’re testing a lot of things right now. And we’ll see what we come up with. But you know, no matter what it is, you have positives and, and challenges to, to all of them. So I think that, you know, one of the reasons we’ve used laces, just like you said he was busy aesthetic thing to you know, as, as we started this product line, and everything was like we still wanted to keep somewhat of a casual feel to the shoes. So that’s one of the reasons why we’re on lace. But yeah, we’ll we’ll have some other things in the future for sure.

Jeff Barber 28:55
Well, yeah, I mean, it seems to make sense for the type of writing that you’re designing for where, you know, you’re not necessarily clipping in as much. It’s not about pedal efficiency in terms of like pulling up on the pedals or, you know, really having to have that like secure connection. But man, you got to have some good lace holders on your shoes or something because mine always get stuck in my chain no matter what I do. Seems like laces are always trying to get caught.

Rick 29:27
Well, and that’s why all of our shoes offer a lace tuck system. You know, it’s just a little elastic piece on the top of the tongue and and that allows you to tuck that lace in there. And we should probably promote that more because I think sometimes we don’t talk about that much and people like it’s actually one of the cool features that people you know, they’ll share on social or you’ll see people talk about like, Oh, I love how the laces tuck into this or you watch someone’s YouTube review and they like stoked on it because a lot of a lot of shoes don’t have it. So it’s what makes

it a mountain bike share. You too. I mean, it makes it different from your vans. I don’t know, maybe vans have that too. But yeah, some you gotta have Yeah,

it same goes to the gusset and Tom. So that’s two things about the tongue area that we do in all of our shoes is a waist tuck and, and a gusseted tongue. I mean, even a lot of our competition out there does not do elastic tongues on their, you know, Premier shoes, especially in flat pedals and it’s just blows me away, it’s like, you just have a standard cheap tongue. It’s not gusseted, it allows all the dirt to come in, it doesn’t offer as good of a fit, because the tongue slides off to the side. And it’s like, you know, wrapped around your ankle. And it’s, I never understood that. So it’s like, you know, we do Gus and Thomas on everything, and it’s the way to go. I mean, it makes a difference in how much dirt you’re keeping out and, and the overall fit of the shoe. So it’s just, that’s our thing. It’s no, it’s the attention to detail. It’s better materials, better product and having that attention. It’s just realistic, because we’re writers we write every day. And that’s what we want. You know, it’s, it’s, it’s a little thing, and I guess, it’s just funny to talk about that with you, and makes me realize we should probably talk about those little things a little bit more. Because like I said, it’s just those are the things that add up that make the added value to the shoe and you can get $100 shoe from us with all those same features that a lot of our competition does not have it $150 And I think that’s what we’re really proud of that that we’re able to do.

Jeff Barber 31:24
Yeah, well, what types of features can you build into a mountain bike shoe to provide protection against injury? And when I’m talking about injury, you know, obviously, there are crashes and rock strikes and things like that. But I’m also thinking like overuse injury, you know, like, if we are out riding all day, like, what are the things that can be done with a mountain bike shoe? To keep us keep our feet happy?

Rick 31:49
Yeah, well, that’s a great question. And one thing that we one fundamental point that we try to achieve when we’re designing any new product is to fit three main criteria. And that’s number one, fit and form number two, comfort and protection, and number three, rubber outsole. So we look at those three major points every for everything we design. And when it comes to that protection, you know, there’s there’s a lot of cool things going on there. And we have a pretty substantial protection story across our entire line. So one thing we do is partner with d3, oh, and their and impact material in taxes already material company based out of UK that, you know, their products are used in hockey in technology, you know, of course motorsports, not by and they have a lot of different types of materials that all are about absorbing impact and dispersing it. And the cool thing about their product is that we use it in the insoles of all of our shoes, so we use it the toe and the heel. And that just allows you know, a lot of your just general chatter on the trail can be absorbed into that and dispersed. And then secondly, if you have like a big get off, you land on your your heel or something, it’ll absorb some of that impact and it absorbs that impact and disperses. So you have you know less of a chance of Bruce hill or things like that. In our higher end shoes, we use it in the medial collars, so our clip shoes or transition traverse and then our power line and TNT, we use a form of Israel material in that video collars to protect against crank strikes or other things you might hit on the trail. So that’s just one example for protection. And then secondly, we use a lot of toe and heel cap heel cup protection, cross online, even our $100 Livewire as a custom molded toe box, which is kind of crazy that that means that every size shoe gets its own custom molded piece and then that gets put on the shoe. It’s not a cheap thing to do, but was added value things that offers a lot more protection, it’s very durable. So that we use that across the line, even our vice shoe, which is you know that more lifestyle look aesthetic to it, we use a TPU protection inside, which you can’t even tell from the outside, it doesn’t look bulky, it doesn’t look crazy. But internally there you have a nice protective toe cap. So it’s it’s just this like, you know, hidden, hidden in the aesthetic is the actual performance. So those are just some of the things that we do to think about protection and without hopefully over building you know, it’s it’s just something that’s practical. I mean, for example, you know, it’s we have a new shoe coming out next month and I was testing it this past summer at Northstar local mountain bike park resort here in Truckee and I was just cruising down on literally like a green or blue trail that’s pretty straightforward, you know, doesn’t require a lot of thought or not really many big features on it and I smashed my toe on something and never saw what it was. And it, you know, it hurt, of course. But the cool thing was is that like, he’ll putting that toe box protection to the test. And I was like, Oh man, like, you know, I wonder if I’m gonna lose my Tony, I was just thinking when I went right after I did it, you know, that initial impact. But it wasn’t long before I just forgot about at the end of the day, I’m in the parking lot taking my shoes off. And I remember and I was like, Oh, I really smashed my toe hard. So looking at the shoe, and there’s a little there was a chunk, a little chunk taken out of the toe box. I mean, I smashed it in part, but I looked at my toe, you know, was like, oh, yeah, it’s totally fine. And I examined the shoe. And it’s like, well, it did its job. You know, like, how big is gonna hurt when you crash, right? It’s gonna hurt when you hit something no matter what you’re wearing, what you’re using. But I just think this is why people need to get a legit bike shoe, it doesn’t matter what brand you get, or what just get something, you know, I mean, it’s all better. And that $60 quote, regular normal shoe that doesn’t have anything. I mean, anybody shoe with protection is going to keep you coming back and writing every day compared to you know, he decided to save 3040 bucks, you ended up with a casual sneaker, and then you take an unexpected hit to the toe, and you’re out. You know, it’s like, I can’t ride my bike for a couple weeks. So those are just the realistic things. That’s it’s worth. As far as a few extra bucks, you know, to have the right, the right thing? Because it’s like, yeah, I mean, I consider myself a decent rider. But look, I go out and green and blue trout and smash the shit out of my foot. I mean, you just don’t know.

Jeff Barber 36:40
Right? Yeah. Well, is there also, I guess a balance there that you have to keep in mind? I mean, ankle protection, for example. You know, it seems like it would be a really good thing until you remember, you have to pedal a bike for the most part. I mean, unless you’re, you’re just, you know, hidden downhill laps. So, so yeah, how do you balance that like the fact that that our feet are very active in biking compared to even say, like motor sports or, or things like that with the needs to also protect?

Rick 37:14
Its, you know, materials have come a long way, when we design our power line shoe, which is an asymmetrical mid top, the, the medial side of the shoe, which is the inside part, essentially, it’s, you know, that that’s a higher increase height over the, over the other part of the shoe. And it’s like, it’s just thinking of it in terms like that, that you look at the shoe. And, you know, when we were designing that, I’ve always been a low top shoe kind of person, I am not a person who generally wears mid tops, or high tops or anything. And I was looking at this, and I was like, oh, it’s pretty protective. You know? I’m curious how it’s going to pedal, you know. And as I started testing it, I was blown away and how you never noticed that it’s actually there. So that’s one thing I always tell people about that shoe. Like, try this on, you know, in everyone puts it on says all it hugs my foot, like, it’s super comfortable. And they’re like, Well, how does it pedal? You know, I’m not, I’m not used to wearing a mid top or whatever. And I’m like, just try it out. And everyone says, like, Yeah, you don’t notice it. So it’s just using the right materials and having the right fit. And it allows for that protection without inhibiting being out all day and having to pedal and you know, that power line is one of my favorite shoes in the line. Because it just just like the customers say it hugs your foot, and you don’t realize, have that additional protection there until you until something happens and you need it, and you’re glad it’s there. So it’s just being returned on to that detail and the design and you know, using the use of microfiber material on our upper that’s just really soft and comfortable yet it’s really durable. And I think we’ve come you know, technology’s come a long way from years back, where if you’re making a high top shoe is generally pretty bulky, right? And a lot of material heavy, you know, probably not that conducive to pedaling and different foot movements that you need as a mountain biker. But things have definitely progressed. That’s that’s, that’s fun. It’s exciting.

Jeff Barber 39:17
Yeah, yeah. Well, I want to ask you about sort of how the environmental impact of shoes are considered when they’re being designed and manufactured. Are there ways that you can minimize the impact that shoes have? I mean, obviously, there’s a lot of materials that go into it plastics and things like that, and then choose, you know, they were out. I mean, most of us probably get a new pair, maybe almost every season. And so we’re throwing away a lot of shoes. Like how much of that? Are you able to control or sort of minimize through design and construction?

Rick 39:55
Yeah, I mean, that’s certainly a challenge and I’m not going to sit here and say that you footwear as a service, environmentally sustainable thing, you know, I mean, there’s a lot of companies out there, they’re, they’re really making some strides and trying to limit their footprint. And that’s super commendable. And we’re working to do the same. And there’s so many different things you have to think about. Because, for one, we’re building this purpose built footwear that uses high friction, rubber, and rubber is not an environmentally friendly thing in itself, you know, producing rubber, the materials have to be durable, like you said. But you gotta consider the supply chain, you know, whether it’s from production to sourcing those materials to shipping them around the globe, and then shipping them to a dealer. Yeah, it all adds up, right to get a pair of shoes, your house, there’s certainly an impact there. And another thing too, is that even when you have some certain types of recycled materials, that doesn’t mean that the footprint is actually smaller, you know, to make that reasonable material. So you have to be very careful when you’re, when you’re looking at all this and sort of figuring it out. It’s like you can’t, you know, as a, as a company, we can’t just take something at face value and be like, Oh, this is going to, you know, definitely decreased footprint, you got to look into it further than that. So the cool things that we’re doing at the moment are testing some new materials that do have less waste and a recycled component to them, that may also even increase our performance. So you know, we won’t put in a line and into a product until we know for sure that it’s going to help us on all those fronts. And you know, first of all, it’s about quality and the performance, and that has to still be there, no matter what type of material it is, so, but there’s some cool things that we’re working on that I think, you know, we’re looking pretty positive in that way, one thing we’re doing next year is changing our packaging to be more environmentally friendly, using a lot less ink, for one being, you know, recycled type of shoe box, I mean, the hangtags, all of that, it’s all going to be updated. And we’re looking at all those things, because your ink adds up. Obviously, shoe boxes, they end up in landfills, you know, sometimes they can be recycled, sometimes not. So those are all steps we’re taking to to help that aspect of it, you know, we try to be as efficient as possible because we’re a small company, we don’t want waste in the good thing as is with production and technologies these days is there’s a lot less place than there used to be. So things you know, all those things add up and it’s as a new company, we’re certainly we have a long way to go, you know, that’s, that’s for sure is that there’s a lot of things that we want to work on to, to decrease that environmental footprint. And that’s something that I’m passionate about myself personally. So it’s a it’s something that’s it’s an important thing, while also realize that, you know, like I said, when you when you have high friction rubber that you need to perform that, you know, that’s certainly not the best thing for the environment, either.

Right? Yeah. Well, where are most mountain bike shoes manufactured? Is it? Is it kind of concentrated in a certain part of the world where these things are being made?

Yeah, I mean, it’s, it’s largely Asia, and we’re very fortunate to have some amazing factories that we’ve that we’ve partnered with very closely, and, and that are really, really good at building a great product and not being wasteful. And because it benefits everybody, you know, I mean, it doesn’t benefit them either to have to waste materials. And so they’re, they’re right, in the development with us. And it’s been it’s been awesome. So, yeah, I mean, it’s, you know, I think, I’d say all pretty much all mountain bike shoes are probably produced in Asia. And the thing is, is that there’s some really great factories to it’s, for us, you know, a lot of our business is international, as we’re, you know, we’ve only been around a couple years, you know, it’s not United States, that’s, that’s our main driver, you know, our, some of our biggest customers are, are actually Zealand and Australia or mountain biking is huge, you know, close to the Asian Asian facilities. So when they when they take product, they get it right from our factory, so we’re not shipping it all the way here and back to there. We’re, we’re growing and a lot of areas out there and and Europe is huge, too. You know, obviously mountain biking is massive and in France and UK and Germany. So those are all things to consider and things in the future, you know, about potentially having warehousing and those areas. So there’s less back and forth of product across the globe and things like that. So it’s a it’s a global thing.

Jeff Barber 44:52
Right? Yeah, it’s all related. And, you know, it sounds like on on a lot of fronts, it’s, you know, doing the right thing. thing for the environment is also, like you said, it’s saving you costs in terms of manufacturing, if you’re not wasting things. And it’s also, you know, if you’re making your product more durable, it’s going to last longer, and people aren’t going to have to, you know, buy a new pair of shoes every year, and maybe they can get a year and a half out of them. But yeah, the performance ones still seems to be the sticking point where we want something to perform, you know, absolutely, as best as it can. And that seems like the harder one to optimize for in terms of the environment, it is

Rick 45:32
for sure, you know, and I think that the technology is going to get there and things you know, we’ll eventually have things that are going to have performance and be better for the environment. It’s, it’s all good, but it’s all consumable. Good. You know, that’s, that’s that I stress over that. It’s like, we’re making things that are that are consumed. And, you know, I try to weigh it, I guess what, like, the benefits of getting outside and being mentally sane and physically fit and having fun, right, like, that’s part of it. But first, certainly a consumable good and we want to do the best we can and all the areas that we can so you know, we’re slowly getting there, but it’s yeah, like doing packaging without ink. I mean, in the end, it kind of ends up saving you money and you’re not being wasteful. And look at all those little things and less shipments around the globe is always better and more cost effective.

Yeah, yeah, good perspective. Well, how are women’s mountain bike shoes different from men’s right concepts? Has shoes for both genders some are designated women’s shoes, some are designated men’s shoes. What’s the difference? How does right concepts approach that?

It’s just the colors right Jeff? Isn’t that just

well, sometimes it is right? Yeah, everybody’s got a different take on that. So I’m curious to know if there’s you know, yeah, what is the difference for us

like I said, like we designed shoes it’s got to hit those fit and form comfort and protection rubber and outsole criteria and right from the start when we launched this company or founder Brandon was like you know, I want shoes that fit well for the entire family because it’s a time when he was starting this his son was was racing downhill and there was hardly any product good mountain bike specific product for a youth on the market you know, so there was like one flat pedal shoe and he was ending up with bruise heels and you know, poor fit and Brandon has a big background and product across the sports industry and he’s like I think we can make a better shoe than this like this just doesn’t make sense. So the key you know the foundation as of right concepts was to have purpose built footwear for the whole family for men, women youth you know, and the shape of the foot for a youth compared to women compared to men is all it’s all very different. You know, it’s like we’re not generally wearing you know, we have we have pretty specific apparel you know, for everybody why why shouldn’t be any different especially when, you know, a woman’s foots quite a bit different you know, you might have a smaller heel but a wider ball girth for women and it’s like it very you know, it goes all over so so fit in general it was such a specific thing for us to really focus on so to do that, we use gender specific last and last is the beginning of the development of a shoe it’s a 3d form of a foot so you know a man’s last is going to vary from a women’s last like I said the women’s last is going to have like a smaller healed different with in your in your toolbox. You’re in what’s called the ball girth. And at the same point they also

are these less specific to ride concepts like do you come up with your own or is there like a catalog

you can do either you know then any any company can do you can pay to develop your own last or you can you can get one that’s off the shelf and in ours were developed. So yeah, we we own these last and so basically like our our Livewire and Hellion shoes the flagpole shoes they’re on one last or clipless shoes are on a different last in our higher end you know flat pedal shoes as well. So we use several different last across the line and then you know obviously the gender gender specific versions of them so when you have the when you start with a good last and that means that you can form the shoe to a better fit, you know, there’s always things you can do sometimes to like, you know, take shortcuts and that’s some of the competition does is like when they don’t have a women’s specific last they’ll just kind of take the man’s and modify it a bit. But it’s not it’s never the same. I think that you know when you look at the reviews for a product that we we have a lot of positive reviews on fit and you go up against the competition that I think people are pretty satisfied with with what we have out there and because of that because we started with the proper last and we haven’t just taken a shoe and shrunk it and said, you know, here’s the women’s shoe. So that’s what we stand behind. And you see a lot of companies that come out with getting into the bike footwear these days, you know, it’s becoming a more competitive space. But how many of them are offering a women’s line? How many of them are offering new shoes, a lot of them aren’t. And a lot of the, you know, I get it, it’s, it’s maybe a smaller market. But that wasn’t enough to deter us, because we know that that markets there. And, you know, these riders deserve good shoes. That’s why we started this. So we put all that same attention into a youth shoe as we do a men’s show because it needs to fit well, it needs to have the right protection and used to be durable, you know, here’s the ones is laces coming on done. Right.

Jeff Barber 50:41
Right. Right. Well, is there? I mean, do you have to start from scratch, essentially, like measuring a bunch of feet? Or is there like, data out there where you can say, okay, like, here’s generally, you know, how women’s feet are different than men and kids are different from adults? Or is that something where you’re just like, well, let’s figure it out.

Rick 51:03
Yeah, there’s, there’s certainly data out there I use, there’s great places to start from, and our development team has done footwear for years. So it’s like, they already have a great base to start from the new approach. They know what doesn’t work, but he started testing products, you know, again, we’re not just even the the last of the fit, but the the flex has to matter, too. So we’re testing different. You know, the rubber adds to that the different aspect ratings and the mid soles that we use, they all vary across the range for men, women and youth. So we we put to the test to make sure it works is a comprehensive package, because you can have one element of the design dialed but if you mess up the midsole flex or rubber compound or something, then it just throws it all off, you know. So it’s, you obviously have those data points to start from what the design, but until you get into real world testing and put it all together, you know that that’s what really matters?

Jeff Barber 51:53
Well, I want to ask you a bit of a marketing question here, you know, ride concepts sponsors, athletes, like Rachel Atherton, and a number of other pros. And I’m curious to know, how do you quantify sort of the return on these sort of endorsement deals? Especially when there are other people out there like influencers and other marketing opportunities? Do you have a way to know sort of, like, how that influences consumers? And especially, you know, in the footwear market?

Rick 52:28
Yeah, there is ways, um, you know, especially is social media, whether you love it or hate, it has become such an important aspect of marketing, it’s, um, it’s a very trackable thing. So, you know, when you go back to the days where, what print ads or commercials or something like that was the way of marketing or billboards, like, none of those things are easy to quantify, you know, you can say, Oh, we’re going to get this many views, but you don’t really know how many people have seen it or anything. So the cool thing about the digital world that we live in now is that everything can be measured, and to take our, our athletes, for example, you know, you sign a factory, elite athlete for numerous reasons, you know, for their racing for personality for their ability to promote a product and winning it. And, you know, the old saying of winning on Sunday selling on Monday, I mean, yeah, you take all that into consideration. But it’s also very important for athletes these days to have that online social media presence. Because it’s, it’s, you know, that’s how so many people pay attention these days and follow along. And that’s all quantifiable. You know, we have software that tracks all those things. And when someone mentions us, we can, you know, see how many hits it’s getting, or likes or whatever it might be. So it’s, um, yeah, it’s certainly quantifiable. And it’s in even, it’s interesting sometimes, because, you know, obviously, it’s hard to quantify maybe your elite athlete, you know, winning and being in knowing how many people go out and buy your shoe because someone won in it. But, you know, we have a pretty good influencer program across the globe of riders that maybe aren’t all professional necessarily, but they’re there in their community being active, they have followings for certain reasons, you know, and when we partner with them, you can sometimes see some really impressive results, through Instagram, through YouTube, things like that, because they have a following and they’re just influential. I mean, that’s why they’re called Windsor, right? Because they just have whatever they’re doing their personality, their involvement in the writing community. Maybe people trust them as as an authority on on technique and gear and product and they’re willing to, you know, to buy into that and I mean, Kyle was great example you know, what Kyle and his girlfriend are doing to their YouTube videos and just being you know, the you know, he’s a professional writer, but he just approaches it in such a you know, common person way Like, let me show you how to do it, here’s how I learned. And here’s, I think it would be, you know, good for you to learn. And then, you know, he’s endorsing our product and, and people see that and they’re like, oh, you know, I love watching his videos, because he’s just such a, you know, good guy to, to listen to and he’s real and he really breaks it down. And so, you know, that stuff is so quantifiable because they’re, he’s putting out on his social media channels on his YouTube, etc. And you’re seeing in real time, the views the hits the people commenting and saying, like, Oh, I’m gonna go get that product, because I think it helped me and I think that’s, that’s the cool part of it. You know, it’s, there’s some cool to happen with the technology we have these days. And, and it’s fun to, to be involved in that and then see how you can you know, progress and grow because of it and the people that you’re

Jeff Barber 55:55
Yeah, yeah, you make a good point that, you know, athletes are influencers too, you know, I mean, they’re both, both of these groups, they’re doing kind of the same thing. And it’s just a matter of like, why are you influential? Is it because you’re winning races? Or is it because you have a personality? Or, you know, you’re really knowledgeable. I mean, there’s a lot of different things. And it’s interesting, because there is this debate in mountain biking, about, you know, art, which, which one is more important? Is it that theater the influencer? And like, really, I think it’s all about who is influential? And that takes a lot of different forms.

Rick 56:35
Well, exactly. You know, I mean, like, you look at our faculty team, and Paul bass ago, she has done an awesome job of signing up, you know, we have one hell of a team, you know, Kyle, stray, Greg was Kailyn, became Atherton’s. Andre, Laconia, and he just goes on and on and on. And we choose, we choose our team very carefully, because we want them to stay with the brand, we want this to be a home for them, you know, we want them to be stoked with our product, obviously. But we we also know that they’re all influential in their own way, you know, like, the way that Andre was influential is going to be very different than the way that Rachel Atherton is. Or, again, compared to our, our normal influencer team, but it doesn’t mean that you know, you need to hit all those areas. And that’s what’s kind of cool in today’s environment is with overall being so much more connected. It’s just so much easier to do that. And so I think that, the key is, is that, you know, no matter what you’re doing, you kind of do have to have that online presence anymore to if you don’t, it’s going to be a lot harder.

Jeff Barber 57:36
Yeah. Well, have you run into any notable challenges or surprises since the launch of ride concepts?

Rick 57:45
A pandemic?

Jeff Barber 57:48
That doesn’t count. We’re all facing that. What else you got?

Rick 57:51
Yeah. I mean, who could have, you know, ever expected that to happen? You know, when, when Brandon was launching this, and we were meeting for the first time, and I’m just like, you’re crazy man to start a footwear company. There’s so many challenges that go into footwear company, you know, there’s so many different pieces to put together a good shoe. And then you have then what gets on a boat, and you have to risk pirates.

Jeff Barber 58:18
Right? Literal pirates?

Rick 58:20
I mean, yeah, it’s happened, you know, it does happen. But then then getting into a port, and oh, well, guess what, you know, the containers are all backed up with the ports on strike. And then this ask go from the port to the warehouse, and then oh, well, the warehouse is busy because of this. So it’s gonna take this many days. I mean, there’s a lot of, you know, a lot of things that go into it. And in any aspect that you look at, you can pick any little angle of the business, and you’re going to find challenges, you know, especially in the footwear. So I think that people don’t understand how complex footwear actually is, you know, and it’s like, oh, well, I could just spend 60 bucks and go go do this, like, yeah, you can, but there’s a lot of challenges that, that are overcome, and us bringing a good product to the market. And, you know, there’s obviously costs involved to that. But I mean, you know, we’ve all done this for a while. So, I think we kind of known what to predict and everything, you know, you just don’t know sometimes when it’s gonna happen, like, again, you know, there’s this year, there’s been container shortages coming out of Asia. So it’s like trying to find trying to get your products onto a container. And when it’s done, you know, you’re waiting around for that. Fortunately, we’ve not had inventory problems. We have great factories we work with, you know, we’re forecasting ahead. We’ve forecasted, you know, well, I think and so this compared to some companies in the industry that just, you know, who would have predicted that bike sales would have gone as crazy as they have, you know, with a pandemic and we were in a lucky inventory position that we were we were ready for growth, and we’ve been very fortunate, but it’s, I feel I feel for the product managers. cross the hard goods and bike have, you know, sourcing their materials to make to make bikes and get components and everything right? I mean, it’s such a challenge right now, and it’s complex footwear is I wouldn’t want to be in their position. So, I mean, we’ve been fortunate as again, as what I’m saying is, like, you know, we haven’t good organic growth, I think, you know, like I said, we were pretty well poised and, and knew what the challenges were to this. So, you know, the, obviously the pandemic was, was a scare at first, but once people started to get outside and, and things like that, then that, you know, that was good for the entire for the entire industry. And for everybody involved, it’s, it’s able to go outside, you know, and obviously, some people can, and that’s, that’s a big, you know, downside to all this happening. It’s, it’s tough and a lot of people but, you know, and then again, again, you know, working, we work, we all work remotely for a very long time. And there’s challenges in that, and, you know, certainly always things that you can’t predict. But I think when you’re part of footwear in this industry, you know, that there’s gonna be, there’s gonna be things coming out that you got to act quick on and being a smaller company and smaller team were able to react pretty quickly. So that’s a kind of, I think, a benefit to us compared to being a larger organization that, you know, might move slower to react to something. So I think it’s, it’s some of these challenges, in the end kind of work to your advantage, but we’re always trying to improve product and things. So there’s, you know, we talk all the time, like, you know, how long is something standing in line? So we update it, you know, is it going to, is that going to frustrate our distributors, you know, or international customer? Is it there’s always things like that as a newer company, it’s like, you know, what, we try to make the best decision possible for the long term brand. And that’s sometimes that those are the challenges like, you know, those are just things I’m taking a tap in the past week we sit down, it’s like, okay, it’s kind of an annoying decision to make, it’s going to affect us here and here, but for the long term of the brand, it’s the best way to go.

Jeff
Well, what is next for the brand? Imagine, for one thing as a new company, there are probably holes in the product line you’d like to fill, but what are you looking at for the next few years,

Rick
You know, balancing out the line a bit more. So we have more clipless offerings. So you know, like you said, we’re kind of known as a flat pedal company, that, again, has a really good clipless couple models out there, endorsed by Atherton racing. So there, that’s the thing, you know, we’re going to balance line out more, we’re going to fill those holes and clipless side, bring out some really awesome product there continue to focus on the best product possible across men, women and youth, you know, expanding upon just the specific not by categories that were in, you know, bringing in some little bit more diversity, of course, and some kind of some new categories, I think you’re gonna see coming in the way, you know, we’re super into developing the 2022 product right now and beyond. So there’s a lot going on, the comp marked our internal team is growing, there’s, you know, almost back to what you just asked about the challenges. I mean, like, we haven’t had an event in a year, you know, the last event that we went to was gonna go to Sedona Mountain Bike Festival, which is so fun, so awesome. That that’s been 11 months. And it’s like, you know, adapting to the changing environment of like, trade shows aren’t what they used to be, they’re not really happening, you know, so how do you conduct business and all these, and all these ways these days? So it’s trying to quickly react to all that, you know, and reaching, reaching the customer in different ways, you know, and that’s supporting our bike shops. You know, bike shops have had their challenges, but also, you know, a lot of good things with customers coming out seeking bike. So how do we best service our independent bike dealers across the globe? How we service our online customers? These are all things that we’re working every day to, to try to keep up with and progress with. And there’s, there’s a lot going on. I mean, unfortunately, we have a good team and we’re we’re starting to be able to build it out a little more because yeah, there’s We’re busy.

Jeff
Yeah, right on sounds like it. Well, Rick, yeah. Thanks so much for taking the time to chat with us. Fill us in a little bit more on mountain bike footwear and ride concepts. And yeah, really looking forward to seeing what the brand does next.

Rick
Yeah, thanks, Jeff. Thanks for having me on. It’s super fun to talk more about this kind of stuff.


Support this Podcast


Never Miss an Episode