The world of BMX biking would not be what it is today without brands like GT Bikes, but who actually owns the company?
GT has been around for a long time and they continue to release high-performance bikes from various classifications - with a big focus on BMX. However, GT bikes have been part of many different acquisitions over the years, which brings its ownership into question.
GT Bikes was acquired by Pon Holdings, a Dutch transport conglomerate in January 2022. Gary Turner was the original founder and owner of the company, but GT was then bought by Pacific Cycle in 2003, Dorel Industries in 2004, and then eventually sold to Pon Holdings - the current owner.
One of the biggest developments in the cycling world has been the introduction of BMX biking as a sport. When the concept of BMX started to become popular, it was a very different type of riding style that the industry was simply not adept with. Bikes had never been ridden in this way, which resulted in a lot of challenges for people interested in taking on the sport. GT Bikes is a brand that helped bring BMX riding into the mainstream of cycling. The company is praised for its ingenious and creative designs, which ultimately, resulted in BMX gaining international appeal around the globe. To this day, GT remains a trusted and reliable brand that has greatly shaped the cycling world - especially for BMX riding. However, the company has experienced a number of corporate acquisitions and buyouts over the years, which is why a lot of people are wondering who currently owns the brand. To help you understand this further, we are going to take a closer look at who owns GT bikes in more detail.
After extensively researching the various corporate acquisitions that GT has gone through, I have been able to gather enough information to determine the owner of the bike brand. My research has shown me that the ownership of GT Bikes is often brought into question due to the company having been bought and sold regularly over the last 25 years since it went public.
GT Bikes History
GT Bikes was started in Santa Ana, CA in 1972 by Gary Turner. The company has been making world-class bikes for over 50 years and they continue to do so to this day. GT is rooted in BMX cycling and it is safe to say that Gary Turner’s work has greatly influenced the evolution of the sport.
As an experienced welder, Turner took the BMX industry by storm when he began implementing new conceptual designs for frames made out of advanced parts and materials. Turner’s work was eventually noticed by industry pros, which is why they hired him to make custom designs for their bikes. In 1977, Richard Long reached out to Gary Turner and offered him a business opportunity to manufacture and design bikes for him.
The collaboration of Turner and Long is when GT Bikes became an official brand - with the corporation launching in 1979. GT Bikes continued to release world-class BMX bikes through the 80s and even acquired a number of smaller companies in this era. As BMX biking started to lose popularity in the early 90s, Turner and Long sold the company.
Origins of GT Bikes
Although GT as a company was initially launched in Santa Ana in 1972, the true origin of the brand started before this inside Turner’s garage in Fullerton, CA. Prior to starting GT, Turner was a drag racer and also a well-experienced welder. Turner’s son was already involved in the sport of BMX riding from an early age and took part in competitions. However, in the early 70s, BMX riding was still a very primitive and developing sport.
Most people did not have professional-grade BMX bikes to ride because they simply did not exist yet. BMX bikes were usually makeshift projects that were made using parts from other bikes such as old Schwinns. These bikes were ridden on intense BMX tracks but due to their poor design and materials, they were not suitable for the sport. This resulted in riders using heavy bikes that would easily break apart on them.
As Turner’s son competed in BMX competitions, he began to notice the apparent design flaws within these bikes. Using his welding knowledge, Turner designed a frame for his son from scratch using 4130 chrome-moly tubings, a material that is considerably lighter and more durable than carbon steel which was standardized for BMX bikes in those days. Turner’s son excelled in competitions after this change and it caught the eye of industry professionals.
GT Bikes Parent Company
After Turner and Long sold GT Bikes, the company would go through a series of acquisitions over the next 30 years. The first parent company of GT was Bain Capital, which is an investment firm from Boston. Bain Capital was the first organization to take GT Bikes public.
GT was later bought by Pacific Cycle in 2001 but the ownership was short-lived, as Dorel Industries acquired the company from them in 2004. Dorel Industries ran GT for just under 20 years under their sports division - Dorel Sports. However, Pon Holdings acquired Dorel Industy’s entire sports division in January of 2022 - along with GT Bikes.
What is Dorel Industries?
Dorel Industries is a Canadian manufacturing corporation that makes furniture, sports, and juvenile equipment. The massive company has owned a number of different bike companies over the years - including GT Bikes.
Dorel Industries sells its products to over 100 countries around the globe and they employ around 10,000 people.
What Other Bikes are Made by Dorel Industries?
Prior to the sale of Dorel Sports, Dorel Industries owned a variety of different reputable bike brands. These include Cannondale, Charge, Mongoose, KidTrax, Caloi, and Schwinn.
Can You Buy Stock in GT Bikes?
Yes, you can buy stock in GT Bikes. The company has been a public IPO since 1995 after Bain Capital brought GT onto the market. The most recent acquisition of GT by Pon Holdings was part of a deal that cost $810 million. However, GT was not the only bike company in the acquisition.
Where are GT Bikes Made?
The manufacturing location of GT Bikes has changed over the years. The majority of the company’s bikes have been made in Taiwan and China over the last 20 years.
With that being said, GT has announced that they will start to manufacture a select number of bikes in the United States for the first time in 20 years - with original owner Gary Turner and son, Craig Turner taking part in the build.
GT Bikes Headquarters Location
Given the number of acquisitions that GT has experienced over the years, its headquarters location has changed quite a bit. As of January 2022, GT Bikes is now owned by Pon Holdings, which is a Dutch company based in Almere, Netherlands.
Are New GT Bikes Any Good?
New bikes from GT are as good as ever. The brand has continued to pump out amazing bikes that are well-crafted and made with high-end parts. GT has retained its reputation as a skilled manufacturer that consistently delivers premium bikes - regardless of company acquisitions.
The brand releases top-notch BMX bikes to this day and it has not lost its touch over the years. As the world of cycling continues to advance and move into a new era - GT has stayed with the times by adopting new-age techniques and using advanced materials in their designs.
However, GT has expanded its reach over the course of the last 20 years. Although the brand is so heavily rooted in the sport of BMX riding, GT’s new ownership has resulted in the company designing mountain bikes, road bikes, and even electric bikes. The vast majority of what GT has in its line-up are high-performance machines that can rival a lot of the top competition in the industry.
You will find high-end mountain bikes from GT that can be as much as $10,000. With that being said, GT also has a lot of very well-rounded bike options that are considerably more affordable than this. All in all, GT has become a more dynamic company since its initial launch - with quality bikes still being the focus of the brand.
Where to Buy GT Bikes
You can buy GT bikes at a number of different locations including physical bike shops. Most local shops that specialize in quality bikes will carry options from GT. However, if you are having trouble locating a bike shop with the GT bicycle that you are searching for, you should try using their store locator.
To do this, go onto GT’s official website and browse their options. Once you know what bike you want, you can click on the ‘find a dealer’ tab. By typing in your details into the search, GT will connect you with the authorized dealers in your area. This also allows you to test out your GT bike before you commit to a purchase.
If you prefer to do your shopping online, there are a variety of options for you to consider. You can buy bikes from GT at the following online bike shops:
You will find that not every online bike shop is going to carry all of GT’s expansive line-up listed on their official website. If you are having trouble finding the bike that you are looking for, be sure to check a handful of different sites.
About THE AUTHOR
Mountain biking is more than just a hobby for me - it's a way of life. I love the challenge and excitement that comes with it, and I'm always pushing myself to go faster and ride harder. Some people might think that mountain biking is dangerous, but I see it as the only way to live.Read More About Danny Lawson