While we were checking out the latest creation from DEAN at NAHBS, we were pretty surprised to hear that John Siegrist was stepping down from the helm and letting Ari Leon take the reins. Ari has been welding DEAN bikes for years under the tutelage of John himself, and while John will still be on hand for guidance and consulting, he decided it was time for a change. According to Siegrist, more than twenty years is a long time to be doing anything and while he still gets excited to put on a welding mask and build his own bikes, he was ready for a new challenge.
Like many of us, the siren’s call of the bike industry is too great to resist so John has decided to open his own distributorship. Focusing on “cool brands that I like that aren’t represented in the market place,” John is starting VeloSport Imports with names like Guerciotti, ALAN, Zulo, Alchemist, German A and Sommerville….
Carrying complete bikes from ALAN, Guerciotti, and Zullo, VeloSport’s line has a decidedly European flair. John mentioned he feels that ALAN is really making a comeback, and is happy to be carrying framesets with complete build options for most of the line.
On the suspension side, VeloSport will be importing German A forks which are, you guessed it, made in Germany. The Xcite series feature 36mm stanchions, a unique arch design, and their straight dropout which is said to improve stiffness with less weight. The highest end carbon/carbon Xcite X-ray fork weighs around 1,248 to 1,280g for the 26″ 100/120mm model, and all but the Xcite Criterion are available in 26, 27.5, and 29″ models.
Admittedly, when I first saw the Xcite Flame I thought it was one of the same inverted fat bike forks that a number of companies are selling. Just like the rest of the line, the design seems to be unique to German A with an inverted design that also uses their straight dropouts since all of the offset is built into the crown/angle of the legs. Available for 26, 29″, and fat bike sizes, the fork has an adjustable 20mm thru axle (15mm for the fat bike model) and also offers infinitely adjustable travel. Simply Press the button on the top of the right fork leg, compress the fork to the desired height, and release and the fork will stay at that functional travel until you hit the button again.
The company also offers their Kilo model which uses a Trapezoid multi link similar to the old AMP Research forks.
On the footwear side, VeloSport will be carrying Sommerville shoes which blend vintage looks with modern performance. Using perforated full grain leather, Sommerville offers either lace up or dial closures with full carbon soles for road shoes and reinforced rubber mountain soles for the commuter/trail shoe.