KORE started out in the bicycle industry in the late eighties as a contract manufacturer of bicycle parts in California. Many people remember KORE’s first product as the Thrashguard but in fact while the Thrashguard was in development Bob Morales was making licence plate holders which he would fix to peoples cars and trucks at national US mountain bike events, the light hearted but KORE image of the company had begun! In 1993, production of Thrashguards and seatposts had reached the point where it became feasible to incorporate and open an office in Southern California. KORE's offerings grew to include the first suspension-oriented lightweight skewers and a lightweight stem. By 1995 the offerings had grown to include two product levels: Elite which were American made products, and the Lite series, an assortment of components made in Taiwan. As Taiwan manufacturing prowess became more sophisticated, KORE moved more items there until today where 100% of KORE products are produced in what has become simply the best place to make bicycle components in the world. Below is a rundown of our 20+ years in the bicycle business.
After a successful end to 2011 things are bright moving into KORE’s 3rd decade. New plans are made to expand the mountain bike range with the addition of many new components. We have also secured specification on many international manufacturers bikes for model year 2013.
Transition bikes factory team signs for a further year. KORE hires new UK based product manager with proven track record in the industry to help revitalise the product range and fill the missing gaps. Choices were made to re focus the brand on mountain biking which many felt is where its roots were laid. Production of all parts other than mountain bike and cyclocross were stopped. Introduction of new stems, bars, pedals and grips were well received by the worldwide distribution net work and media. Choices were made to appoint Promologic as new sales agent for North America and the Pacific rim. Kore launches new long awaited website with links to social networking sites and much more.
2010 KORE CELEBRATES 20 YEAR ANNIVERSARY
Transition Bikes factory team of Bryn Atkinson, Lars Sternberg and Jill Kintner sign up to use KORE products. This saw some great Worldwide results with Bryn winning the US Pro Gravity Tour Series and Jill winning the US National DH title, Crankworx title and various worldwide slalom titles. Times were now showing KORE to be once again a leader in pro level events.
With the sponsorship program in full swing KORE supported rider Jill Kintner of Seattle, USA was picked to race in the BMX event. This saw 2 KORE supported riders heading to Beijing with medal hopes. Kore decide to help them on her quest by manufacturing specific BMX race parts. Michal Prokop has some bad luck at the event but Jill Kintner went on to take the bronze medal in Beijing on her KORE parts.
KORE introduces a completely re-vamped product line including highly acclaimed I-Beam compatible seatposts and saddles, all-in-one hubs that revolutionize disc rotor mounting, the KIS integrated headset, spacer, stem and top cap system, a series of Mavic UST certified tubeless wheel sets, all new stems and handlebars, and the revolutionary Palmster road bar grip. Late in the year, KORE signs Michal Prokop: World Champion 4X racer and Beijing Olympic BMX medalist hopeful to a 3-year racing and product development contract.
Realizing that the old adage "innovate or die" is true, KORE hires Lance Bohlen, a 20-year industry veteran with a history of bringing to production many innovative products with such well-known brands as Specialized, Rocky Mountain, Schwinn and Decathlon. Production of all KORE products except platform pedals, chain tensioners BMX hubs / wheelsets and Chain Reactors is halted.
KORE launches the Kockpit carbon handlebar for the road as well as several new wheelsets, and a new graphic direction for Elite components.
KORE switches focus to concentrate on mass produced OEM-oriented components. Perhaps a controversial move, KORE never the less gains valuable experience working with various high quality Asian vendors who will prove valuable allies in the future.
KORE hires ProNet as agent for North America, Latin America, South Pacific and all of Asia. KORE discontinues production of Double D riser bar, B'atch post, Race Road stem and apparel.
KORE moves to a new facility in Tustin, California. KORE hires Active Sports Products (ASP - Killer Service!) to assist with sales and marketing in Europe, Russia, Africa and the Middle East.
2000 KORE CELEBRATES 10 YEAR ANNIVERSARY
KORE replaces the Lite 3D with the lighter weight Lite Forged stem and replaces the Lite Road stem with the removable faceplate Road 2. The Lite 2 mountain bar is introduced, as are the Freeride and Xcountry rise bars, the Strictly-D welded rise bar, the B1B downhill stem and the Platform pedals. Towards the end of the year, Hoochie hubs, Bigguns hubs and the Sweet 69 stem replace the Satellite hubs and B1B stem. Other new BMX products include 24-inch Speed Hoop rims, stainless steel tensioners and disc brake mounts for BMX frames. Towards the end of the year KORE introduces the Elite and Lite road handlebars. KORE begins production of the Elite Scandium seat post while stopping production of the GASS clipless pedals.
KORE introduces a 40mm B52 and drops the 90mm length. KORE ends production of the Lite stem and Elite Speed rim. A well-known BMX supplier goes under and KORE takes over their line that includes numerous jumping oriented products. KORE's new BMX products include the B'atch post, Speed Hoop rims, the B1B BMX stem, Pistole tensioners and Satellite hubs. KORE begins testing Scandium seat post tubes.
Founder of KORE Bob Morales sadly leaves KORE to focus on ASV Motorcycles products. KORE begins testing of the lighter weight Elite Torsion handlebar. And introduces the Lite Road stem, the freestyle CandyBar, freecoaster cogs, their first forged stem, the Lite 3D and the Elite Speed Rims. Changes to the line include moving the top two bolts on the Lite 3 stem to the front and dropping production of both the 1" Lite stem and 1 1⁄4" Elite stem. Towards the end of the year, KORE stops production of the Torsion bar.
John Tomac, a multi World Champion as well as the world's #1 mountain bike racer agreed to use KORE products for no salary. Tomac went on to capture the National #1 Downhill title and the silver medal at the World Championships. KORE-sponsored racers also went on to take the Men's Dual Slalom, Women's Dual Slalom, and the Women's Downhill titles. KORE components were used on more ATB champions' bikes than on any other brand in the world! KORE receives a patent for the Elite stem and introduces the Lite 3 stem, the Lite mountain bar, the welded Torsion rise bar, changes the tubing on the Lite Post 2 from 6061 to 2014, and changes the name of the Aheadlite stem to Lite. KORE tests and then releases in late 97 the US made, fully machined B52 stem.
KORE introduced its most advanced and expensive stem, the "Elite Stem". The Elite Stem would be made exclusively in the USA and become our flagship product. We immediately filed a patent for this original design. We attended its first international show at the Taipei convention in Taiwan. The show was very successful and KORE gained many new international and O.E.M. customers. Team GT mountain bike racer Nicolas Vouilloz again won his third consecutive Down Hill World Championship equipped with KORE components. KORE also sponsored Team Cannondale in 1996 with Alison Sydor winning the Women's World Cross Country Championships as well as the Olympic Silver at the Inaugural Mountain Bike Olympic event at the 1996 Olympic Games. KORE Stems are rated #1 by Mountain Bike Action, Mountain Bike and VTT (France) magazines. These magazines' reader surveys also rated KORE stems as the #1 choice for their readers next stem purchases. KORE also introduced more new products in 1996 than ever before, extending our range to over 12 products., KORE moves to a larger facility in Santa Ana, California.
KORE conducted its first solo national tour on the NORBA race circuit with a booth and technical support for racers. Our pro ATB racers Julie Furtado, Brian Lopes, and Leigh Donavan won five national championships equipped with KORE components. Nicolas Vouilloz of France also won the Men's Senior Downhill World Championships with KORE components. On January 10, 1995, KORE was awarded my third patent for a new KORE Aheadlite Stem Design.
KORE was fast becoming a well known brand in mountain biking. We add the Aheadlite stem to the product line and later moved to a small warehouse in Fountain Valley, California. KORE signs exclusive contract with Riteway Distributing, GT's distribution company, to distribute KORE products for a minimum of five years. This new deal with GT allowed KORE the opportunity to sign its first major O.E.M. order and factory team endorsement contract with GT Bicycles. KORE products were being used by more and more of the mountain bike industry's top professionals. Julie Furtado and Nicolas Vouilloz won the Senior & Junior Downhill World Championships equipped with KORE components.
In KORE's first year of race promotions we gained the support and endorsement of Mike King and Brian Lopes, who were both national and world mountain bike champions. KORE's products were getting excellent reviews by all of the bicycle industry's premier magazines.KORE opens an office in Northridge, California and later receive the patent for the seat post. KORE's first line of components included the welded 6061 Lite Post and the first skewers designed for suspension forks.
Bob Morales was helped to produce the Trashguard by two cycling enthusiasts (Martin and Charlie Kurke) at Coast West Manufacturing in El Segundo, California who begin producing CNC components for the bicycle industry in 1988. The Kurke brothers create a new lightweight seat post for mountain biking and file for a patent. In late 92 the Kurke brothers meet with Bob Morales and Jimmy Simeone and together they create KORE Bicycle Components.
Bob Morales, founder of Dyno Products and Auburn Cycles, creates the Thrashguard under the KORE Products name. Chris Moeller and Dave Clymer of (S&M Bikes) helped Bob develop and market The KORE Thrashguard