Lori Barrett is ROTOR’s North American Brand Manager. Bikes and sports are more than her pastimes; they are her lifestyle. Lori tells us more about ROTOR in the USA.
You have been working with ROTOR since August. What’s your experience been like so far?
I love working with ROTOR! It’s inspiring to be involved with a brand with such an incredible commitment to innovation, and whose brand values are so deeply tied to quality products.
Are you a cyclist as well?
I formerly raced full-time on the road bike, but now ride more mountain bikes. Sometimes it’s difficult with my work/travel schedule, but it’s a near-daily part of my life. It’s why I live in the mountains!
What’s more popular in the US, road or mountain?
Hmmm, this is hard: more people ride road bikes, so there is a bigger group of people already putting wheels to pavement, but the mountain bike community is growing rapidly. Who knows, maybe riding dirt will catch up!
Do you recommend oval chainrings for MTB? What are the advantages?
We get a lot of feedback from the mountain bike community, perhaps because people are still just discovering the oval rings for riding trails. It’s amazing to me – a couple of weeks ago, an older racer called the office to tell us that he had recently gotten an oval ring, and it took the strain off his lower back, allowing him to ride farther & faster, more comfortably. We also hear from a lot of riders who love the way it allows them to keep the rear wheel in contact with the ground more effectively, since the oval ring smooths out the pedal stroke, effectively. There are so many great stories, it’s hard to select the ones to share!
Which ROTOR products are more popular in the US? INpower?
The 2INpower is the hottest power meter on the US market now, as people learn about everything from the TORQUE360 feature, to the fact that all of the technology is internal and not subject to the elements. However, the Qarbon Q-Ring has really taken off, combining the popularity of the Q-Ring with the stiffening/lightening properties of carbon.
How is ROTOR’s dealer network in the US?
ROTOR has a strong dealer network in the US, with key partners in each city. We are in the process of updating our dealer finder on the website, so stay tuned!
Which is your favorite ROTOR product?
I love 2INpower and Qarbon Q-Rings, but I also geek out on our UBB. It’s not as sexy as our power meters and chainrings, but a bottom bracket that eliminates any BB noise, from any frame? Now that’s hot.
Does ROTOR America support any professional cyclists? Which ones?
We work with a variety of professional athletes and teams, from the great folks of Maverick Multisport in triathlon to Freeride legend, Brett Tippie, in gravity mountain biking. We also have a strong junior program, supporting young riders as they make their way to the top ranks in their respective sport, like Downhill National Champion, Lauren Bingham, and Junior World Cup athletes, Katie and Evan Clouse.
Is ROTOR a premium brand in the US market?
ROTOR is happy being a brand at the top of the market. It’s great knowing that every product we send out is at the top of its class.
What is the 2017 forecast for ROTOR in the US?
We expect great things for 2017! We have always done a great job with products, and 2017 is the year where we start to get the ROTOR story out in our country. From our Tech Rep program to the emergence of the UNO groupset, we are positioned to stake a claim in the US.