MORGAN HILL, Calif. (BRAIN) – Mike Sinyard was in his mid-20s when he founded Specialized Bicycle Components in 1974, selling his old Volkswagen van for $1,500 and leaving for Europe. He came back selling hard-to-find Italian components and two years later launched a Specialized tire for the touring market. The rest, they say, is history.
Sinyard, in an interview from his home in Capitola, California, a beach community near Santa Cruz, said he’s seen nothing like the COVID-19 pandemic in his 46 years in the industry. But Specialized, a billion-dollar company (more or less) is taking a financial hit like all businesses, he acknowledged, but especially in its overseas operations with so many nations under lockdown.
Still, Sinyard remains optimistic about the future. He said he believes this pandemic could spark a rebirth of interest in cycling as more parents with kids in tow return to bicycles for fun and exercise. And it could spark a resurgence in commuting.
But he’s also moving to restructure the company’s far-flung operations to reflect the warp-speed change in consumer buying habits, putting new focus on digital sales, marketing and operations. And he’s vowed that Specialized will be a leader in the e-bike market.
“There is no …read more