The Kona / Bow Cycle Story
|Company Name||Kona Bicycle Company |
|Company Rep ||Dik Cox |
|Canadian Headquarters ||Vancouver, BC |
|Founded ||1988 |
|Website ||konaworld.com |
|First Start with Bow ||1990 |
|Unique Projects with Bow ||Marco Polo, The Bownesian, Shaggy, |
The Fox, COP Special, COP Deux, Poo, Poo II (with corn sticker set), the 57'
|The 1,000,000th Kona bicycle was sold at Bow Cycle!|
|John Cowan camps, Robbie Burdon up at COP.|
|Franzky (sort of) has great memories of the Kona IMBA bowling tournaments at Interbike. Kona raised huge amounts of money for trail building. Bow Cycle then stole the idea and started our own annual bowling tournament!|
Kona rider, Cory Wallace - just starting out on his epic riding career - shows up at the Bow 80 and wins, setting a new record. He showed up in the middle of the night, and slept in his car to top it off. We got him back by locking him in at River Cove campground - sorry Cory!
|Scratch n' Sniff Tires!!!|
WHERE THE FUN BEGAN!
The Kona / Bow Cycle story goes way back even before the start of Kona. Brian (Sibthorpe) met Jake (Jacob Heilbron) in 83' or 84' when Jake was still a part owner of Rocky Mountain Bicycle Co and he had come to Calgary to sell some bikes. Fun Fact - Yes, Bow Cycle sold Rocky Mountain bicycles in our history. Brian met Dan (Gerhard) around the same time as he was selling Marins and Brodies. They (Dan and Jake) formed Kona Bicycles back in 1988 along with Joe Murray as the Product Designer. Editor's note - the mtb cycling history is so interwoven it's amazing. These guys all worked in connecting circles. A few notes from Jake - "The recollection is accurate. I was on a sales trip in Alberta, Bow was a customer of Rocky – we were selling some Ritchey frames at that time but mostly it was parts and accessories from Europe. I vividly remember asking Brian what types of new products he thought would be successful in his market and his immediate response was that mountain bikes were going to be big in Calgary. “
Bow Cycle became a Kona dealer in 1990. Kona bicycles were first available in Calgary at Ridley's Cycle but that did not work out. At the September 1990 Bike Show in Vancouver, Brian talked with Doug Lafavor (Dewey - think the bike) about becoming a Kona Dealer. The first deal made was to take Ridley's existing Kona inventory which as under 10 bikes. Over that winter, things changed at Kona... Dewy went into design and Dewy's landscape buddy, Richard Cox (Dik!) was hired to be in sales - so Dik became our sales rep. At this time, Bow was moving forward and the Kona bike line became more of a mainstream bike line in our store. Doing volumes that were normally done by brands such as Specialized or Trek. Having the Kona Kilauea win the 1993 "Bike of the Year" from Mountain Biking magazine was a nice push. And that push has continued since.
Bow is forever grateful for the years of memories that have been had - the great support they have shown us over the years and so many shared memories. The John Cowan camps at COP (Winsport), the Kona Bowling tournament which started out our yearly event. This tournament raised lots for IMBA over the years and trail awareness. Collaborating on the well remembered COP Special, the COP Deux, The Poo and Poo II (with sticker set) and the Shaggy series of dirtjumpers. And in 2007, Kona and Brian teamed up to build the 57", based on a 1918 Elgin, this limited edition bike helped raise over $300,000 for various charities around the Calgary area.
Kona riders have excelled at Bow Cycle events as well. Cory Wallace's back to back wins in 08' and 09' at the Bow80 showed us the strong rider he was becoming. The 1,000,000th Kona bike getting sold at Bow Cycle, and the Fox. The memories go on... We, Bow Cycle, mesh well with all the people at Kona with a "play hard, work hard" mentality. It has been and continues to be a good match and LOTS of fun.
Thanks to Brian and Kona for all the info!