Portland, Oregon, 11th August 2011 – They say you never forget your first love – Shedfire and Brant Richards rejoin On-One and head up Titus.
When Brant Richards the self styled eccentric Northern English mountain bike designer and Planet-X entrepreneur Dave Loughran joined forces in the UK, back in 1999 to start and create the worlds first direct selling original upstart mountain bike brand On-One, little did they know of the journey they would undertake. Fun, direct selling, tongue in cheek, irreverant, yet brutally aggressive in its cost to retail – cut out the middlemen business model – On-One was quickly adopted by a multitude of mountain bikers as the enfant terrible of the bicycle industry and the two were set to become great friends as well as business partners.
Fast forward to 2008 and 10 years of a tumultuous journey, the pair were struggling to cope with the demands and growing pains of a rapidly expanding business with inadequate systems and processes. The relationship fractured and both men set off on their own separate paths with Richards setting up his Shedfire consultancy with designer Matt Booth, that in the next two years was to create and develop brands Ragley, Nukeproof and Vitus for the worlds biggest online retailer Chain Reaction Cycles and distributor Hotlines.
Meanwhile in the background Loughran was investing in and installing a cutting edge detailed operating system, new website, and a state of the art warehouse and showroom facility. Once implemented the new look Planet X/On-One saw its turnover triple within a 12 month period.
Fast forward again to November 2010 when Loughran and Planet X took control of cult US brand Titus bikes in their first ever acquisition – the search was on for a lead designer to head up Titus and no matter which way he turned, he knew there was only one person he wanted for the task.
A chance meeting at the Taipei Bicycle tradeshow in April followed shortly after by meeting again at the funeral of their hugely popular former co-worker and Planet X stalwart Ray Eden set the wheels of reconciliation in motion. Finally in a full circle unexpected announcement Richards and his company Shedfire are today pleased to announce they have joined forces with Planet X again in what they see as a chance to finish what they started 10 years ago.
“We have learned a lot about ourselves personally as well as the bicycle business as a whole. Despite the fact that the company Brant left two years ago bears no resemblance to the professional outfit that we are today its very fair to say that I missed his energy and enthusiasm. We have unfinished business with On-One and have a great new challenge in rebuilding Titus – I’m supercharged TNT guns of the Navarone excited”, said Loughran.
Richards said “I’ve always kept an eye on what On-One were doing and to a certain extent it was, and always would be, my first love. I’ve had an absolute blast with CRC and whilst I’m especially sorry to move away from Ragley, the challenge presented to me at On-One and Titus is a career defining opportunity.
The potential for Titus as a worldwide player is massive, and its history and pedigree carry a lot of kudos with me personally. I am extremely nervous and respectful of this, and my task is to keep Titus true to its roots, retaining USA production will be a big priority and thats going to be an exciting journey. And for On-One – there’s so much still to do in crazy niches that aren’t being served properly.
Planet X/On-One/Titus have opened up their own USA operation in Portland and the company is being headed up by one of the original industry innovators – Spot founder Michael Golinski. New Titus stock will be arriving in Fall together with the first deliveries of On-One which will be arriving in a matter of weeks. Golinski is excited at the challenges ahead “I have a firm brief to replicate the ground breaking direct sell business model of On-One/Planet X – whilst at the same time bringing Titus back to strength and keeping its USA soul and roots. Hopefully its going to be a lot of fun as well as hard work, we will be supplying key dealers but our focus is on great value bringing our products from factory straight to our loyal customers at industry beating value, own designs, excellent customer service, same day despatch – lets just say I have a lot of work to do !”