As reported by SGB Media on May 20, Dan Gerhard and Jake Heilbron purchased the Kona brand back from Kent Outdoors and reunited with a team of experienced Kona employees reunited to “keep the Long, Sweet Ride rolling.” 

The founders wrote in a letter to industry friends that there remain many familiar faces specialty bike retailers should know from “epic dealer launches, My Kona videos and trail days who dedicated to the cause.”

“Kona’s employees, dealers and our dedicated customers have always been our strongest resource, and they keep on jamming to the beat of their own drum, the founders continued. “With this return to being rider-owned and operated, we’re doubling down on our unique brand legacy and getting back to some basics.”

Gerhard and Heilbron wrote that renewing relationships with nearly 1,000-strong North American and European dealer networks is their highest priority.

“Most of us started out in bike shops, and in our eyes, IBDs are our strongest advocates and allies, the co-owners wrote. “Healthy retailers are integral to making sure that Kona fans everywhere experience the ride of a lifetime.”

To best honor their dealer relationships, the founders decided to pause direct-to-consumer (DTC) sales for all bikes.

“ will show changes to reflect this, and our social and communications channels will be getting reworked as well once we get things rolling. Bear with us, and we will keep you informed as we move through this transition, they explained.

“On the bike side, new Kona inventory is headed to our warehouse and distributors, and alongside the freshly released Ouroboros, we’ve got some incredible bikes in the pipeline that we are looking forward to unveiling. We’re beyond grateful for the support that our suppliers have shown us in this endeavor. Vendors like Fairly Bikes, who have been with us since our first bike in 1988, are a testament to the value of longstanding relationships where people take care of people, they wrote.

The founders said they are now positioned to price their bikes much more competitively.

“Private ownership allows us to be more streamlined, more flexible, and quicker on our feet, they said. “This, combined with the support of our suppliers, means we can deliver high-quality bikes in a distinctly Kona flavor at super attractive prices. We’ll never do a BOGO Sale again, so don’t ask, but we promise to offer good value for good money, always.

The founders of Koan Bikes committed that their PNW roots are as strong as ever, with offices in Ferndale, WA, and North Vancouver, BC, continuing to anchor the company “proudly in place.

Tenacious, resilient, straight-talking, gritty and sometimes covered in grease, we are committed to keeping the distinctly Kona-flavored bike buzz flowing and helping people find freedom and fun. We are back. We are still here. Let’s ride.

“Welcome back to the smallest biggest bike company in the world, the founder concluded in the open letter.

Image courtesy Kona Bikes


See below for more on the acquisition and feedback from Kent Outdoors.

Kent Outdoors Divests Kona Bikes to Founders-Led Group

Kent Watersports Rebrands To Kent Outdoors, Acquires BOTE And Kona Bicycles