Huffy parent company to consolidate Niner into Ohio operations

United Wheels, the parent company of bike brands Huffy, Niner, VAAST, Batch and Buzz Bicycles, will consolidate the operations of its Fort Collins, Colorado-based Niner business into company headquarters in Miami Twp.

“This integration enables key functional areas to more efficiently and effectively focus on innovation, collaboration and will include a reorganization within the Niner business,” Bruno Maier, United Wheels’ president and chief operating officer, told this news outlet Tuesday. “We will also be exploring potential redeployment opportunities within the company.”

United Wheels said it has more than 120 employees that are based in the Dayton area.

“This integration will include a reorganization within the Niner business, and we will also be exploring potential redeployment opportunities within the company,” Maier said. “We are committed to collaborating closely with each employee to identify opportunities and provide support during this transition.”

The company expects the integration to be complete by next fall.

United Wheels said Niner has earned a dedicated and passionate following among “Ninerds” and enthusiast dirt riders around the world. “This operational integration will allow United Wheels to better harness that passion and ensure the brand continues to thrive,” it said in a release.

Huffy’s roots in the region stretch back to 1892, when it produced its first bicycle in Dayton while originally operating as the Davis Sewing Machine Company.

Maier said the Miami Twp. location recently underwent several aesthetic upgrades to reflect the company’s guiding principles and strategic framework. Those upgrades include updating conference rooms and meeting spaces and showcasing the company’s 131-year history with Huffy product lines from past and present in main hallways

They also celebrate its ties to Dayton with a new “Designed in Dayton” wall feature. Updated wall art and placards throughout the building highlight the company’s core values and mission statement.

Maier said the pandemic drove “unprecedented demand” for product as consumers searched for different ways to stay active and have fun in safe ways.

“According to Statista and the NPD Group, U.S. bicycle sales soared by 46% year-on-year,” Maier said. “Some categories, such as kids’ bikes and affordable adult leisure bikes, saw growth exceeding 100%.”

Demand began to decrease in the second half of 2021 and into early 2022, he said.

Niner was founded in 2005 by Chris Guai and Steve Domahidy. It has primarily focused on designing mountain bikes with 29-inch wheels, commonly referred to as “29ers” in the mountain-biking community.

Niner has product assortment in various frame sizes for mountain and gravel riding, as well as electric bike options. Originally headquartered in California, it moved its primary base of operations to Fort Collins, Colorado in 2016.

Huffy bought Niner out of bankruptcy in 2018.

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