Kona Bikes returns to rider-owned and operated roots as founders buy back the brand

New owners commit to 'double down on unique brand legacy' and to 'never do a BOGOF sale again'

Kona Jake
(Image credit: geoff waugh)

Kona Bicycles lives on. Just a month after Kent Outdoors abruptly stalled Kona’s operations at the Sea Otter Classic, announced job cuts and the sale of the 36-year-old brand, the future has taken a surprising but optimistic turn. The brand has been bought back by its original founders, Dan Gerhard and Jake Heilbron, who promise to return Kona to its roots.

Founded in 1988, Kona Bicycles was bought by the Canadian sporting goods company Kent Outdoors in 2022. However, the post-Covid economy hit Kona hard. After "a bumpy couple of years" - having trialled a legendary Buy One Get One Free (BOGOF) sale - Kent Outdoors decided to hoist the “For Sale” sign in April, opting to invest in its water sports businesses instead. 

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Anne-Marije Rook
North American Editor

Cycling Weekly's North American Editor, Anne-Marije Rook is old school. She holds a degree in journalism and started out as a newspaper reporter — in print! She can even be seen bringing a pen and notepad to the press conference.

Originally from The Netherlands, she grew up a bike commuter and didn't find bike racing until her early twenties when living in Seattle, Washington. Strengthened by the many miles spent darting around Seattle's hilly streets on a steel single speed, Rook's progression in the sport was a quick one. As she competed at the elite level, her journalism career followed, and soon she became a full-time cycling journalist. She's now been a cycling journalist for 11 years.