LeBron James invests nearly R500m in German bicycle brand

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Canyon bikes might be German, but there’s significant American money, funding its future. (Photo: Canyon)
Canyon bikes might be German, but there’s significant American money, funding its future. (Photo: Canyon)

Many rightly regarded LeBron James as the greatest basketball player. Lesser known about the iconic NBA point forward is his love of cycling.

Extremely tall athletes like James struggle with conventional bicycle sizes and gear. Despite this, James enjoys getting out on his custom bicycle, which rolls huge 36” wheels, as opposed to the 29” wheels you’d find on a conventional mountain bike.

Even more surprising than the size of his wheels, though, is the size of his recent investment. 

LRMR Venture is the investment entity whereby LeBron manages his wealth. And its latest capital deployment is a significant R490m investment in Germany’s Canyon bicycles.

A pioneer in the direct-sales model, Canyon designs and markets an array of bicycles, from premium mountain bikes to desirable triathlon aero frames and gravel bikes.

Canyon bikes
Canyon’s innovative mountain bike suspension technology is unique. (Photo: Canyon)

Lots of clever tech 

Canyon’s engineers are renowned for their technological innovations, such as adjustable geometry for the brand’s Strive mountain bike model. Canyon’s Shapeshifter system allows riders to alter the Strive’s amount of rear-suspension travel and overall frame geometry for climbing or descending.

Many dual-suspension mountain bikes feature a lockout switch for the shock, but Canyon’s Strive, with its Shapeshifter system, is far more integrated.

Canyon mountain bike frames were proven with a victory at the 2014 Cape Epic. And one of the world’s best professional all-rounders, Mathieu van der Poel, is a Canyon rider.

Roman Arnold, Canyon’s founder, is understandably thrilled about LeBron James getting involved.

"While we were not actively looking for new investors, LRMR and the SC team immediately understood our mission to build the world’s most inspiring and innovative bike company. Their passion for what we are building will make them instrumental members of our team."

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