The initial Extra deal with Nick Fish is a few month’s consultancy to get the MTB side of the business up and running.
Felt Racing was started as a high-end road brand four years ago by Jim Felt, the US framebuilding guru, a former engineer with Easton who helped the tube maker refine many of its tubing sets. Jim Felt is a tri-bike specialist, having built many of the bikes ridden by Ironman winners.
Felt’s BMX line was called Nirve and was originally sold via the internet only.
However the Nirve brand split from Felt in an acrimonious divorce. Nirve founder Bill Duehring, ex CEO of GT in the States, is president of Felt Racing.
To say that Nirve and Felt do not get on well is an understatement, especially after Nirve launched a range of non-BMX bikes at Interbike.
Ken Knight has been out of the bike trade for two years but was looking for a way back in. Dan Bond of Nirve used to be the US sales manager for GT and its P&A division Riteway. Knight knew him well from his days at Caratti.
Via start-up company Urban Sports Ltd, Knight started importing two models of Nirve entry-level BMXes a few months ago, exclusively for JJB Sports, the multi-sports big box retail chain. However, a new range of Nirve bikes – produced for the UK market in association with Nirve, and including MTBs – will be released in February/March 2002. Knight plans to dual channel the distribution for Nirve: JJB and IBDs
Nirve sponsors 2001 BMX world champion Dale Holmes, the 29 year old Derbyshire rider who now lives full-time in California.
Knight said he was keen to get back into the bike trade, just like many former GT employees:
“GT was a huge company. Lots of people who worked there had real passion for the industry. They’ll always pop up, they can’t keep away from this industry.”