The rumor mills have been stirring and they are true. The long standing premium bike brand Titus Cycles is closing its doors and liquidating all assets. In an official email sent out to dealers and business partners, Titus Cycles writes:
“To All Titus Business Partners:
As many of you know, Titus has been working through a challenging year. We have made significant efforts to restructure the company.* Unfortunately, we have run out of time. Our largest lender is foreclosing… on an outstanding loan.* Commencing immediately, they will initiate an orderly liquidation of company assets.
Titus is well known for great customer service, including warranty service. Please be patient with us as we work through this most difficult time.* We will do everything possible to keep our loyal riders on the trails. All inquiries and requests will be answered beginning Monday, November 8, 2010.
Many of you have been partners with Titus for a very long time. We deeply appreciate your support through the years.
You are on our list because you are a dealer, have been a dealer, or have requested information about becoming a dealer for Titus.”
Titus has always been one of the more popular brands amongst mountain bike racers with the legendary RacerX, however they have seen quite a bit of change in recent years. Titus Cycles founder Chris Cocalis left the company and started a new company (Pivot Cycles) back in 2007 and ever since then…Titus has been struggling to find its way amongst a growing high end mountain bike market. With the decision to move manufacturing overseas only to have production issues, Titus had to replace a lot of inventory and eventually transition back to US production. This hurt the company in the long run and could have possibly lined up the result we see today. Known for producing fast mountain bikes, Titus was also struggling with their designs as rear ends tended to be incredibly flexy. Even the new Rockstar 29er got a negative review from Mountain Bike Action, and if you know that industry magazine at all…a negative review is not an easy thing to get.
With longstanding employees were recently “let go” a few weeks back…there was much speculation around forums as riders tried to guess what was going on.
Even with the liquidation and goodbye, Titus owners will look fondly on the brand and the RacerX will probably go down as one of the greatest full suspension race bikes in history. Unfortunately, there is no substitution for bad business planning and design. The liquidation of all assets will include the brand name, so it will be interesting to see if anyone steps up and tries to resurrect the Titus Cycles name. In the meantime, support and parts might turn out to be a hard thing to get for current Titus owners.