Teva to Stop Producing Mountain Bike Shoes - The End of One Story, But Not of the Adventure
All good things must come to an end, or so they say. Such is the case with Teva’s bike program. After entering the market as a serious contender during the summer of 2011, Teva will cease production of its mountain bike line and support of athletes and events in 2014.
But why? The team behind the lineup certainly has an incredible amount of passion for the sport - the crew here at Vital can vouch for that. In the end, though, it was strictly a business decision. Keep in mind that Teva is owned by Deckers Corporation, a publicly traded company, and at times decisions can’t always be based on passion.
When we were informed of the decision late Friday afternoon, we immediately sent a list of questions to Teva so we could share the details with you. When we awoke this morning, the answers to the questions were in our inbox. The timestamp said 1AM. Fresh off the clock, no doubt exhausted and excited for her weekend, Teva’s PR manager Jaime Eschette spent what remained of her Friday evening behind the computer to tell the story. That’s commitment we can relate to. “I wanted to really express to you guys the real thoughts the team has around this change. I know some might think it’s corporate speak, but those of us that know the people behind the curtain know the sincerity in all of this.”
You guys went from zero to heroes in the bike scene in just a matter of a few years. Obviously you were busting your butts to produce some top notch shoes. Who/what can you attribute the success to?
When you’re doing something you’re passionate about, it doesn’t feel like work. So, you tend to tinker and play and ask questions and continue to innovate – every day. Building the bike collection was certainly like that for our team but we didn’t come to all the answers alone. We knew early on that we wanted to not only produce the best shoes on the FMB market but also appreciate and support the lifestyle that surrounded it. Through our athletes, our partners and our community we never stopped listening and learning. Collectively, we ended up with something pretty awesome to be a part of.
We’re definitely bummed to hear the news that you’ll no longer be in the bike game. How did this come about?
Undeniably it was a hard decision for all of us. In the end though, it all came down to a hard look at our available resources against our plans entering our 30th anniversary year. The shift allows us to have laser focus that will not only strengthen and grow the brand today but also allow us even greater opportunities in the future.
Obviously Teva has a long and rich history in other outdoor markets, will you be refocusing your efforts to some of those areas?
Entering our 30th anniversary year, the team will be aligning all of our resources towards celebrating our iconic silhouette, the original sport sandal. We’ll also be working on projects that help bring to life the adventurous, traveling and inspired lifestyle that the brand has embodied for the past 30 years.
Is production stopping soon? Should we stock up on Links and Pivot shoes asap?
The existing collection will be available through Spring 2014 and while inventory is available. Some casual bike styles will still be available in Fall 2014.
Your shoes featured several never before seen innovations. What’s the one you’re most proud of?
Easy - the look! Have all the bells and whistles you can name but if it’s hideous then who seriously is going to rock a pair? I think the team would be most proud to have delivered a shoe that performed at the highest level (with all the features you’ve come to know from us) but also was fun to wear off the bike.
We’ve got to know, was there anything in the works that you now won’t be able to introduce?
Unfortunately we had two projects that will remain prototypes: our new gravity shoe, The Virgin, which we previewed at Interbike, and a new women’s specific all-mountain flat petal shoe that had yet to be unveiled.
Your videos were nothing short of incredible - great destinations, phenomenal riding, adventure, and of course your stellar lineup of pros. What was your favorite bike adventure?
Oh man, with a team like ours it’s hard to say. We were honored to work with not only some incredible athletes but much more than that, some truly incredible human beings. Our team rocks! Outside of some of the more recent Teva Mountain Games (for those of you who got to join us, you know which ones I’m referring to) I think the most recent road trip to NZ really captured the magic behind what made our crew, well, the Teva tribe. Just a bunch of friends gathered together through a passion for two wheels. Needless to say it was an epic adventure.
If you could say anything to your riders, what would it be?
Once family, always family. This crew taught all of us more than we could have ever imagined about adventure, passion, guts and humility. We were honored you chose us and will remain your biggest fans.
In Mr. Pilgrim’s words, “YOLO.” No regrets from this side. We’d do it all again in a heartbeat if we could. I guess all good things come to an end at some point… We’re just glad you all allowed us to ride. It was one hell of one journey and we’re so thankful for the experience.
Keep living awesome stories, Teva, and thanks for contributing so much to the sport in such a short period of time. It’s been a wild and fun ride!