Only a few years after Teva entered the bike market with the introduction of the Links freeride mountain bike shoe, the company announced this week that they are now exiting the market. The brand was famous for saying that bike was not only a category of footwear, but a passion. Not so much anymore.
The official reason, according to Teva’s PR manager Jaime Eschette, is to allow the company to better position itself to focus on its core business as it heads into its 30th anniversary next year. The move, however, seems somewhat sudden given that the company just signed a multi-year partnership agreement in September with Mammoth Mountain in support of its summer bike programs and launched a brand new shoe at Interbike.
According to Bike Magazine, apparently neither Teva athletes nor the company's internal product and marketing team saw the decision coming. They even quote Jeff Lenosky as saying: “I kind of feel like that guy who brought my friend to the party and vouched for him, and then my friend ends up being a jerk,” underscoring his disappointment upon hearing the news.
The news makes me a bit sad as I really like the Pivots. I am sure competition from Five Ten is pretty fierce since they have for a long time been the go to brand for flat pedal mountain bike shoes. This may have been the impetus for Deckers to pull the plug on Teva Bike to save from investing more marketing and development dollars.
Mountain bike shoes that Teva already sells, such as the Pivot and Links, will be available through 2014. No word yet on whether the company will continue or not with the more casual commuter bike shoes like the Joyride. My guess is everything in the Bike collection will go.
So if you are a Teva Bike fan, stock up while you can.