Hayes Bicycle Group have had a low profile for the past couple of years but they're hoping to come back with a bang at this week's Sea Otter Classic.
After legal wrangling to reclaim their trademark and name, the Milwaukee, Wisconsin-based company have spent the past few years acquiring smaller firms and slowly building their portfolio.
They now own Hayes Disc Brakes, Answer, Manitou, Wheelsmith and SUNringlé, have sorted out the manufacturing side of the business and are promising an exciting range of new products.
"The Answer brand will make an aggressive comeback in 2010," marketing manager Denny Yunk told BikeRadar. "New grips, gloves, pedals, bars and stems will debut this spring – some at Sea Otter, and others soon after."
According to Yunk, the Answer brand has been sitting patiently in the corner for a few years. The company plan to introduce plenty this year, including: cross-country and downhill grips; aluminium and carbon fibre ProTaper handlebars in widths ranging from 660mm to 780mm; a direct-mount downhill stem; low-profile platform pedals; and gloves for cross-country, trail and downhill.
Absolute+ is a new, twin piston chamber (TPC)-based technology featuring independently adjustable high- and low-speed circuits.
"It will appear in model-year 2010 Manitou forks including R7, Minute and Drake," Yunk said. "It’s also retrofitable into all non-Manitou Racing Development (MRD) forks from model year 2007 forward. A lightweight MRD version of the Absolute+ damper will be introduced later this year."
MILO (Manitou Integrated Lock-Out) is a new lockout lever designed for forks equipped with the Absolute+ damper. It has a super-low actuation force and works with every known brake/shifter combination.
New versions of its Jumping Flea and Dirty Flea front hubs for forks with 15mm axles. The 199g Jumping Flea is intended for trail and all-mountain bikes, while the 173g Dirty Flea is aimed at lightweight cross-country applications.
According to Yunk, the Hayes Disc Brakes logo will return to all its mechanical and hydraulic disc brakes in 2009. "The new look evokes the image of the original, iconic Hayes Mag," he said.
Look for more coverage of the Hayes Bicycle Group after this weekend's Sea Otter Classic. For more information, visit www.hayesbicycle.com.