Some of you may know that Titus closed their doors earlier this year. It’s been a LONG time since I’ve blogged, but this deserves a bit of attention as it’s one of the root causes of problems in our current economic situation.
Here’s my view on why Titus went down. It’s an outsider’s view with some internal information that had been gleaned over a few years of correspondence with Titus personnel back when they gave me a great deal on custom bikes.
Chris Cocalis was slow to innovate and change and had trouble managing a growing business. He sold out to investors who brought in Pat Huss who had previously run Cannondale into the ground. Pat brought with him Jeff Titone. Both are nice guys, but I’m not sure they really belong in the bicycle manufacturing business.
Failed efforts at fancy exogrid products and carbon stuff from overseas started the fall. Originally producers of HIGH quality custom frames, they tried to seek more profit by going overseas. This never made sense to me as they had to fly over there all the time to do quality control….which sucked if you ever owned a carbon chainstayed racer-x.
A couple years ago, they sold off their sweet jigs and took all ti production to Litespeed. Yuk. The aluminum stuff was still being made in Portland and the carbon stuff overseas. They shrank their operations in the states trying to become a marketing and design company. Customer service suffered and people started looking at other great bikes like the Trek/Fishers, Pivots, Tall Boys, and other fantastic bikes on the market that cost about the same or less.
Titus deserved to die. Hanging on to the Horst Link and giving up on in house production reduced their value.
Planet-X Bikes recently purchased Titus. I hope they didn’t pay much. Hopefully they will return to some custom in house production if they can ever get a hold of those sweet jigs they used to have. Good luck Planet-X Bikes. If you bring back Titus, keep ’em custom, keep ’em ti.