Rock Racing is a cycling team founded in 2007 by fashionista Michael Ball, owner of the Rock & Republic clothing brand. The team – which has raced in the Tour of Britain – was formerly famous for hiring the ‘bad boys’ of the sport, such as those accused of drug taking.
The team, now downgraded to amateur status, used to ride De Rosa bikes but will soon have an own-marque brand.
Ball told Neil Browne of Velonation.com that the bikes would be "very special and different."
The bike trade will be simpler to operate in than the fashion trade, believes Ball.
"In the fashion industry I have to come out with four collections a year that better razzle and dazzle the buyer and consumer or you’re out of business. In cycling, you are developing new technology, a new paint scheme, the latest this, the latest that. It’s a little bit easier. Once you establish yourself as making bicycles, you are making bicycles. You don’t need to come out with four different collections each year to stay on the front pages of magazines or in the window of Neiman Marcus."
The Rock Racing brand is already being teased on RockRacing.com. Bikes will be available from the website’s shop and perhaps via selected bike shops.
"We are distributing them ourselves and building [the brand] it from here. We are looking to get our distribution into South America and Mexico, because we are very popular down there. We have some interest in Europe. But for now we are keeping it close: here [U.S.], Mexico and South America. We are going to let it build in a very natural way. We are not going to go crazy and try to push this down peoples’ throats. Kind of the same way I built Rock and Republic – just do cool sh*t.
"I have been riding the prototype bike for over a year and now we have the production bike, which I am riding. Man oh man, really super cool. I am really proud of the production team, the design team, and now the sales team. It’s such a great group of people to work with. They are very passionate and focused. We know we have something very special and different to offer."