NEVADA CITY, Calif. (BRAIN) — Chris Kelly, who founded Kelly Bike Company in the San Francisco Bay Area in the 1980s, is putting the company and its brand up for sale. He said he’s hoping an investor will take the brand and run with it, whether he remains involved or not.
The brand is known for its custom steel frames and forks, as well as innovative items like the Kelly Take Offs, which allow use of downtube shifters adjacent to road brake levers.
“I think the brand still has a lot of potential,” Kelly told BRAIN on Thursday.
Kelly moved the company from Oakland to Nevada City in 2004. At the time, the company had a silent partner investor; that partnership was dissolved in 2006 and the brand was nearly dormant for a couple seasons, before being revived in 2009.
To his dismay, Kelly has dealt with some consumer and industry confusion since the launch of the Kellys — with an S — bike brand in Europe several decades ago. The European brand, based in Slovakia, cannot be sold in the U.S. market because of the trademark. Kelly notes that he launched “kellybike.com” in 1995. It was one of the first …read more