Photo by Ian Hylands/Niner BIkes

YGR has learned from several anonymous sources that Chris Sugai has been removed from his position as president of Niner Bikes. YGR reached out to Sugai and he provided the following statement, “Starting and growing Niner has been one of my life’s greatest honors.  I have experienced some of the highest and lowest feelings in my life over the last 17 years together with the Niner team. I feel very lucky to have followed my passion and along with the team helped create something mountain bikers appreciate. I will always be deeply grateful for the love and effort the Niner team and riders put into making what Niner is today.”

When reached for comment, Bruno Maier, President and COO of United Wheels, Niner’s parent company declined to comment on personnel matters. However, when YGR asked if United Wheels would be appointing a new Niner Bikes president, Maier stated, “No, we have had a leader for our High-End business for the last three years, Morten Kristiansen.  He will continue to lead our “IBD” or Specialty bike business.”

Sugai launched Niner in Southern California in 2005, opened a location in Fort Collins in 2008, and by 2011 all operations had moved to Northern Colorado. Niner filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2016 and was eventually purchased by United Wheels in March of 2017. Sugai stayed on as president until October 2022. Niner headquarters is still located in Fort Collins although the warehouse was moved to San Pedro, CA in 2021.