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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.

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It’s not often that I sell my bike stuff.  But the moto-lite has only been ridden twice in the last year.  It’s a great bike, but I need to thin the herd a little and it’s not suiting my style anymore.  If you know any tall peeps looking for a great bike, I’m letting it go for $1500.  Check out the add on mtbr for more info.

http://classifieds.mtbr.com/showproduct.php?product=38375&cat=

Here’s a pic of the beast.

motolite side view

 

 

 

 

 

 

This bike had a lot of great rides.  Hopefully I can find a better home for it than my garage.

School has not started yet, but I’ve been in inservices all week.  Some pretty cool physics stuff.  Real basic stuff taught really well.  I was a terrible physics teacher last year.

The last two weeks have been CRAZY!  The IMBA crew came to town….with pretty short notice in my book.  But no biggie.  We adapted and the members that came out learned some new tricks.  We also learned that we should slow down a bit on our building and work harder to build trail better. 

The best part is that the city of El Paso wants to build trails in their city parks.  They have one park that is just primo for it.  We’re going to do some flagging this Sunday.

But tomorrow is all about making Mad Cow as fast going up as going down.  If you live in El Paso and haven’t ridden Mad Cow…..well….you’ve been missing out.  It still needs some love.  I got some new toys and I’ll be giving lots of trail love tomorrow.  I spent an evening fixing up the bob to hold the toys.  I had to bust out the tiny wheeled circus bike since my bob doesn’t have the 29er friendly attachment.  A few minutes with a jigsaw and a door knob drill bit, and I got this sucker dialed.

p3060033        p3060034       p3060035      p3060036

p3060037      p3060038      p3060039

It’s over 12 feet long all together.  I picked up an Italian Grape Hoe that is super comfortable to swing.  It will work well in softer conditions or for roots that need to be cut.  I tested it out in the garden and it’s like a hot knife in room temp butter.  I gave the handle a bit of protection with an old Nevegal.  We’ll see how that works out.  I also picked up an extra long Mattock.  My other Mattock is super burly, but it’s heavier and has a super short handle.  It works well in the steep terrain when working on bench cuts, but Mad Cow is kind of flat. 

Of course the trailer has room for the McLeod.  I also fashioned a little water bottle holder for extra fuel by cutting up a water bottle and taping it to the trailer.  The fuel bottle fits in nice and snug.  In the bag I have long pants, face shield, hat, gloves, a file, and the chainsaw attachment for the Husque.  I can’t wait to put the blade that’s mounted up now to the test.  I’m not sure I’ll use the chainsaw blade.  It’s for big stuff.  Mad Cow has mostly little stuff that likes to grab your arms and feet.  I’m just hoping my ghetto carpentry skills hold up and the back board doesn’t break.  I took it on a test ride on the trail by the house.  Everything seemed ok but I decided to put the padding in there to protect the Husque.

So tomorrow will be about 45 minutes of road to the trails….another 30 or so to Mad Cow.  I’ll spend an hour or two on Mad Cow, then ride some more.  Then head back home.  Hopefully it will hold up.  Check back for photos of either disaster or pure trail love bliss.