Fresh on the heels of Trek severing ties with the LeMond brand, an announcement was made that the Trek-owned Klein brand, purchased from Gary Klein in 1995 (the same year that LeMond licensed his brand to Trek), was being relaunched with vigor in 2009. The Klein brand has been available only outside the US the past few years.
According to Joe Vadeboncoeur, Trek’s Director of Product Development, Trek is excited about “investing into the Klein brand as something that we can offer our dealers, and offer to them for as long into the future as it makes sense for them and for us.
“Since there is a current Klein brand with its own unique product mix and brand identity, we will not be selling any current products that Trek developed for any of our other brands, relabeled as Klein,” Vadeboncoeur added, setting aside any doubt voiced by dealers that Trek would rebadge remaining LeMond inventory to be sold as Kleins.
Vadeboncoeur described the Klein line as a nice, tight product offering that will fit well into the current dealer base. No word on when the new Kleins will be presented to the public, how extensive the line will be, which materials wil be highlighted, but BikeRadar was told all details are forthcoming at Trek’s annual dealer meeting in August. Gary Klein was one of the first builders to sell a commercially available lightweight aluminium frameset.
Armstrong bike brand?
When asked the inevitable question about Trek launching an Armstrong brand, Vadeboncoeur was very straightforward, pointing out that Armstrong is a small (less than one percent) stockholder in the Trek Bicycle Corp.
“Lance is a Trek guy,” he said. “His whole post-cancer, pro cycling career has been on a Trek. He is a lifetime Trek athlete, and has always ridden a standard geometry 58cm Trek road bike. A Lance Armstrong edition Trek would actually be the exact same bike as a current 6.9 Pro Madone, but with a Livestrong paint job.
“So I always tell people that ask me that question, that they already can buy a Lance Armstrong bike at their local Trek dealer,” he added.
Want to buy a bike from the man himself? Armstrong plans to open Mellow Johnny’s, his 18,000-square-foot bike shop in Austin,Texas, on May 10.
Bontrager footwear and apparel expected this fall
As we reported last year, Trek will no longer be distributing the Nike line of cycling shoes and apparel after December 2008. Following in the footsteps of Mavic, who announced they’re taking their designs in-house from adidas and launching a Mavic line of footwear and apparel, Trek will develop a complete line of Bontrager-branded cycling shoes and apparel, to be introduced at Trek’s dealer meeting in August. Trek is staying mum on the details for now.