34 years after founding Kona Bicycles in Vancouver, B.C., the pioneering company’s original owners announced they are selling the brand. Kent Outdoor, an Ohio-based company that owns several outdoor brands.
Kona was born in Canada way back in 1988. It has since moved south of the border to the state of Washington. Founders Dan Gerhard, Jake Heilbron and Jimbo Holmstrom announced the sale on Wednesday. They will be staying on to keep Kona running on the same track the brand’s pioneered over the last three decades.
“Kona remains committed to building great bikes, working with a rapidly growing network of independent bicycle retailers, and maintaining the Kona Way in everything we do,” Heilbron said of the sale. “We’re excited about the future and look forward to growing with the Kent family.”
Kona will be keeping its staff and offices. It plans to continue developing on the same path. Hopefully that means athlete’s like Squamish, B.C.’s Miranda Miller and Japser, Alta.’s Cory Wallace will still have the brands support for their racing around the world.
Kent Outdoor’s CEO Ken Meidell, a lifelong mountain biker himself, now assumes the role of Kona CEO as well.
“I’ve been riding mountain bikes since the days of coaster brakes. I started with fully rigid forays into the forests where I grew up and the stoke never really left. It’s safe to say it’s in my blood,” Meidell said of acquiring the pioneering brand. “Working with Kona fulfills a dream of mine, and I can’t wait to help bring more iconic bikes to cyclists all over the world.”
Kent Outdoor’s portfolio includes brands covering all seasons. The group has roots in water sports, but now includes Arbor Snowboards, HO Sports and Connelly Skis.