Race Face Is Closed: The Shot Heard Around The Bike Industry

by Robb Sutton
7 comments

After over 18 years of providing the mountain bike industry with high quality OEM and aftermarket components, Race Face is officially being liquidated.

This Canadian manufacturer has been a staple in the industry almost since the mainstream adoption of mountain biking. With legendary components like the square taper Race Face Turbine cranks to one of the easiest to adjust seatpost mechanisms on the market, Race Face as innovated and provided strong components for riders looking for that extra edge.

Race Face Turbine LP Purple

According to John Pentecost at Race Face:

I wish the situation was optimistic, but we’ve been told the company is going to be liquidated, and 90% of us are unemployed as of next week. They’ll keep a few people on to assist with the liquidation.

My tenure with the company has been short, but it’s been a fun ride. Thanks to all the great athletes, customers, and media folks I’ve had the opportunity to work with. Thanks also to the amazing group of coworkers I have out here. All of you make stuff like this hurt a lot less…

…It came as a big surprise to all of us. There were about 50 people laid off here in New Westminster today and we were told that another 20 people in Taiwan were also terminated.

In a letter to Race Face employees dated March 14, Grant Thornton Limited announced that it was terminating all Race Face employees at its New Westminster factory, and at its operations in Taiwan.

As the receiver will be shutting down the operations of Race Face Components Inc. immediately, your continued employment is no longer required and, therefore, the receiver on behalf of Race Face Components Inc., hereby terminates your employment, effectively immediately.

The closing and liquidation of Race Face marks the second major loss of a  long time brand in the mountain biking industry. Earlier this year, Titus Cycles also went through the same process as creditors are getting tighter on loans. With the name Race Face has in the industry, I would assume a similar auction will take place and someone will pick up the name much like On One did with Titus. Who will purchase the rights to the Race Face name and what they will do with it will still be determined…but we are sad to see such a fixture in the industry leave so abruptly.

Race Face was a premier manufacturer of mountain bike components ranging from machined aluminum with flashy ano coatings to carbon bits that helped shave the weight for many riders.  They also sponsored some of the best riders in the world including Steve Peat.

Having owned many Race Face components over the years (Deus Cranks, Atlas Cranks, Seatposts, Stems, Bars, Turbines, etc), I am personally sad to see the brand go. Hopefully there is a firm out there willing to bring it back to former glory. We will have to wait and see…

7 comments

7 comments

maverickdh05 April 4, 2011 - 6:22 pm

Interesting Walt Ive had RF deus for 5years and no issues, I’m 200lbs and ride like a DH rider on my trail bike with those cranks, you’re either had a Monday set or just poor setup to begin with e.g some hack installed them!

I’m sad to see them close this way, Ive had many RF products and still have most of em today they’ve never let me down product or performance wise!

But Ive been saying this for awhile now MTB is out of control, sure costs for everyone have gone up, but in this era we should have more collaboration of stds to keep costs down to manufactures to supply to consumer, including products, materials which are just exploding costs purely on marketing to sell more at a higher margin!

I can buy other products un MTB related for better value that have a greater appeal than some of the stuff on the market coming from the MTB industry rapists!

Some bikes production brands one bike 16k in foreign currency for an MTB is ludicrous Road biking is similar and why I don’t spend money in that market anymore. I’ll spend the money on something I know will last and it will have to last, no changing every year, not that Ive been one to keep up with the Jone’s for Jones sake! e.g a Show Pony who has the most or best!

The time of more is better is over and we better get a grip on it otherwise other companies like RF are going to go the same way, its only a matter of time which is sad because it doesn’t need to be this way!

Do what you do well, stick to the core brand and products don’t get greedy for market domination and they will come and be loyal, its always worked and more importantly works when times are tough, the greedy come and go but they do the damage to all.

Long live RF hope they come back better than before if in name only.

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Walt March 25, 2011 - 1:47 pm

I’m glad, actually. I had a Race face “dues” crank set and it was the biggest P.O.S. ever made. Sure it was light but it had a design flaw and literally disintigrated from normal use. They deserve to go out of business for making crap like that.

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Yuri March 24, 2011 - 4:25 pm

Unbelievable!. I need to ask why?, what happened?, what was the reason?. We can speculate, but this seems to have just come out of the blue. Was some one not pleased with the profits?. I can’t believe that they weren’t successful enough. Something smells funny. No one knew any of this until doomsday?. Hard to believe, an awesome company, great product and the doors are closing?, hhhmmmmm, Interesting.

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Miles March 24, 2011 - 11:01 am

Shocked and Stunned. I have so many Race Face essentials as part of the kit on my three MTB’s. Whether it’s eCommencal, Cube or Giant they all find a Race Face upgrade eventually. Cannot believe this is happening. Heart goes out to the staff

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Skadamo March 16, 2011 - 4:22 pm

I am bummed to see this happen. Hope all the employees are placed quickly.

Would love to see Trek pick up Race Face and drop Bontrager brand.

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MT March 16, 2011 - 8:06 am

I can’t believe it.

I hope everyone who worked for them finds a new job quickly.

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Daniel March 16, 2011 - 7:33 am

Wow, that is huge. a very sad day indeed.
I am currently using several Race Face components and have always been happy with them.

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