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  1. #1
    Hueston Woods Trail Crew
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    Market Forecasts

    Taking a cue from other posters, it seems a discussion of where and how the Titus brand will be marketed and sold in future is in order.

    How many Titus owners bought their bike from a well-stocked local shop? How many got the chance to ride one when Titus Mikey showed up with a huge truckload of demo bikes?

    How many of you were drawn like a moth to a flame when these previously high-priced frames began to show up as closeouts? What did this do to the perceived value?
    How important is a grass roots racing program to a boutique brand? Does that work well in promoting them?

    Titus' new owners in the UK have to make lots of decisions soon in order to make a go of restoring Titus. Are they best served by selling them online from one or two warehouses in North America and Europe, or a variety of outlets? Do they stop selling the current lineup and start over? Or build on the existing designs?

    What about the worldwide market? Numerous global importers and shops are still out there I personally have Titus customers in every part of the globe, including
    Scandinavia,Lithuania, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, Brazil and Spain.


    Just had to open this can of worms.
    Last edited by Bikerbob.com; 01-13-2011 at 04:15 PM.

  2. #2
    Paper or plastic?
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    My 2 cents: if a direct distribution can work, it'd be for boutique bikes. My guess is that most riders willing to shell $2k plus on a frame do their research online, etc. and don't decide based on what's on the show room. That being said, we all want to ride the bikes before we buy them (although I bought my Motolite sigth unseen), and that's where the LBS comes into play.

    Frankly, I don't know and I did not sleep at an Holiday Inn last night, however, I'm guessing
    that you are probably none too pleased with the fire sale right now, and must be thinking seriously as to whether you move on to another brand.

    BTW, this is not a criticism of Planet X. They're the ones who have to determine what's best for their brand/business.
    Faster is not always better, but it's always more fun

  3. #3
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    The last three bikes I have purchased have been by Turner and Ventana and then the fourth, and most recent was my Titus (from you). I did my research onlline and bought all of them except the Sultan without a test ride. I think most riders don't expect to be able to walk into a shop and demo a boutique bike. Just my .02 though. Most folks that walk into a shop to buy a bike are probably not looking to spend $$$.

    Even if shops do provide demos they are not spec'd with great parts, they are heavy, and are not likely to be set up the way a rider would prefer. Again, this is just from my experience but demo bikes never give me a true sense of how it would ride once I put on my trusty pedals AND seat AND bars AND stem AND wheels AND run it tubeless, etc.

    I say keep the Racer X and Motolite NAME. I do think that a grassroots racing program is still important to help draw more people into what is still a grassroots sport too. At least it still feels grassroots to me when I am out helping to groom the trails that I plan on riding! Most racers I know lusted over a Racer X at some point.
    "You can't discern by calculating in your mind how it will work. You have to feel how it rides differently to understand."

  4. #4
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    That $500 trade-in program was the key for me Bob. Got me out of the ML and kept me on an EG.. All on-line research. My LBS stocks Titus bikes, actually 2 of them do, but their pricing was waay too high, pretty laughable really @ +900 (*that's $900 more than your price), they were only good for the demo. Perceived value for me, came through in the research.. demo, they gotta have demos at key spots.
    Last edited by J:; 01-13-2011 at 10:40 PM.
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  5. #5
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    I bought my Racer X sight unseen from a local "boutique" shop whose only ready to ride bikes are the ones built for specific customers and starting in the $4k range and up from there. Many years of support for my road habit led me straight there when I got into the mtb scene. Since then, I have become brand loyal as I love the bike. I am not to concerned about the "fire sale" going on currently as the brand just got bought out and I understand there must be some inventory issues to handle. Going forward, I am after a 29er and Titus will remain at the top of my wish list since their innovation, quality and support made me a convert.

  6. #6
    Not all pain is gain...
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    I bought both of my Titus's sight unseen from bike shops. My 2nd from Bob. I did my research on the phone talking to Titus employees and other people that rode and sold Titus's. I do what I can to buy locally or at a minimum from a brick and mortar shop somewhere else. The online deals look good to be sure but it's not really for me.

  7. #7
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    I can say one thing. More T-shirts! I'd love to rock some sort of cool EG or just plain titus shirt insted of my standard chris king shirts (must have a dozen).

    That being said it seems like the bikes almost always get good reviews in mags and online. I've never seen a bad review of an EG and only a few gripes about the FTM. I'm no marketing guy so the things I see are from a local bike shop level.

    As far as marketing goes, I'd like to see a few full build titus bikes in our shop but they just don't sell around here.

    When I spoke to the last rep we had (he wasn't with titus when I ordered my EG in August). He had some great terms and deals. We could get any two bikes in a 2nd from the top build for the shop for standard dealer cost, and if they didn't sell in 6 months titus would buy them back. Things like that are great for a shop thats sells 70-80% of it's bikes for less than 1k$. We can't justify a 4$+ bike sitting in the window for a year. But just being able to set some eye candy out and not take a huge loss is really nice.
    "I'm the fastest of the slow guys"

  8. #8
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    I think the perceived value of Titus frames tanked when it was announced the company was going belly up. The closeout prices were/are probably in line with what people are willing to pay for them, considering the uncertain future of the company, warranties, etc. We still don't have answers to many of those uncertainties.

    JensonUSA was one of the first to do a mass closeout and that was many weeks ago. They saw the writing on the wall and decided to minimize their losses. It's not every day a manufacturer goes bankrupt, so taking action as soon as they did allowed them to minimize losses and probably even still make a small profit.

    It is unfortunate for dealers, especially smaller dealers like BikerBob that have a more personal relationship with their customers, and a brand loyalty, who did not want to give up on the company quite so fast. I don't think anyone can really blame the new owners for wanting to liquidate and start anew though.

    I think a racing team is a great idea. I personally would like to see BikerBob more involved with the future of the brand. I think he has been a great asset to the Titus community, and few dealers can equal his passion and commitment. The new Titus would be wise to open talks with him in this regard.

  9. #9
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    I'll give a quick response now, but may add more later.

    I will not buy another Titus or any boutique brand that uses a distributor in Canada instead of selling directly to shops. I want to support my LBS, but the middlemen in Canada make that very hard to do because of their markup. Buying online from the US is not something I want to consider unless I live in the US. It also does not support my LBS, but someone else's LBS, and that makes my local trails and economy sad. I don't want them to be sad. Does Titus want them to be sad?

    Titus sold directly to Canadian shops in the past, and they can do it again especially if they're following the same model in the US. We speak English. We have free trade agreements. We have an unguarded (or is it unpatrolled) border. Canadians want our bikes and parts without the scummy markup.

  10. #10
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    Speaking honestly, I think the best thing would be for Titus to be a direct to order dealer for a while. Right now, the brands reputation is in the crapper. They need to restore that.

    The FTM and X changeovers were a fiasco. Badly marketed and, from the sounds of it, badly designed. Hearing that the FTMc had major design issues is amazing and makes me think that everything the haters said about titus post-CC was true.

    The EG was/is a great bike. That should stay somehow. If that becomes the only bike that Titus makes, it would not be bad. The FTM should be laid to rest. Titus needs a proper 29" FS bike as well. The rockstar may be it but it needs a new name. That name is just stupid.

    I still think they should have the EG, an EG-lite and a 120mm 29" offering.

    The HL works great and is totally acceptable but is becoming a sales dude. Need to modify it somehow to make it more sexy. Don't know how, but they have to do something.


    Hate to sound like a hater but I think I am just stating the obvious. The demise of Titus was not just a bad economy but rather poor product and poor business.

  11. #11
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    BikerBob, a great thread and a robust discussion that I guess is fully needed.... I have very little to add, except that my Titus Motolite was a great frame, which translated into a bike that gave me immense pleasure riding wise...

    For a vast number of companies, it must be hard to move from being boutique size but also take on the big 3 lets say.... But I doubt in my opinion that the demise of Titus was solely due to the global economy being in the toilet, of which it still very much is in the toilet.

    For me, I really loved the point of difference that Titus offered in the old days lets say, I loved the ExoGrid tubing etc, I then moved my riding where by I would have broken the MotoLite, that is NOT being critical of the frame. i then moved toward an El G, of which I wanted a Ti El G, but Titus could not move with the timeframes they laid down for me.. Again, just being honest here... Not sure where I am headed with this post now, lol...

    Being able to test ride a bike for me is not a biggie, I have never been able to test ride a bike, thinking about it, nor have my bike riding crew... When you get up to the higher end of the frame value, 2K USD above, I think the customer base becomes far more educated in what they want etc...

    Lost track of thoughts.... Main thing is, I dont think any of us would like to see Titus not succeed in whatever form / business model they come back and execute
    The_Lecht_Rocks: whafe - cheeers - may i offer an official apology for the wagon wheeler "dis-belief"

  12. #12
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    Great thread!

    Titus needs to bring back the old names but with fresher designs. They need to start beefing up their bikes a little. Way too many breakage issues with Titus bikes over the years and people are starting to push their bikes harder and harder. To rebuild their brand they're going to have to low ball their frame prices for a couple of seasons until they come up with some fresh re-designs. Customer Service needs to be completely top shelf or it won't work.

    Racer-X: The original Strong/Stiff/light 4x4 XC race bike. To compete they'll need to really focus on their carbon model. Dropping weight but keep it strong.

    Dump the FTM brand and go back to Moto-Lite. Make this your 5x5 trail bike. Make it stronger and stiffer than the FTM. Fix the rear triangle issues. Maybe go with the Maxle or 12mm rear axle to increase stiffness and lighten things up. Add ISCG tabs for Hammerschmidt or 1x9 chainguide.

    El Guapo: Best bike in the lineup. 6x6 AM bike. It's amazing that it has not become more popular. I'd slack out the HA by another degree or so and add a 12mm maxle.

    New Bike: 7x7 Freeride/light DH bike. Something to compete with the Firebird, Delirium, RFX level of bikes.

    29'r's: I'm not a 29'r kind of guy but they are popular. Dump the Rockstar name, that's cheasy. Come up with a better name and a fresher design. 5x5 29'rs seem to be all the rage look into one of those.

  13. #13
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    I didn't have a chance to test ride any of my Titus bikes before. I definitely would have if I had had the chance, but I rely on information from the bike tests and the from this specific forums here. Once you are in riding mountain bikes seriously, you can read between the lines when you read reviews and you know how to compare the informations on the forums as well. At least it works for me. A test ride can help for sure, but it will not give you a fair idea how the rides , only if you ride it for weeks.

    Will be interesting to see how the new owners will go. Its not an easy task to decide.
    I don't think it was the bikes fault that they went down. The bikes are great, it must have been something else. As I am not in the business , it is hard to tell.
    Keeping the X , the FTM, and the Guapo would be a good idea IMO. And they will need a dedicated freeride bike as well, 7 or 8 inches. That is somehow missing from the line.
    And exogrid, oh! These unique things were one the big reasons that I started to long for a Titus.
    Kovi

  14. #14
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    For those that keep saying loose the FTM, Do you mean the name or the bike? If you say Bike, have you actually owned on? Have you ridden one. I have over a year on mine, with no issues with the construction or handling. It does everything I need it to and well. Yeah, the rear end is not their best acheivement, re-design it (I have not had an issue - 200Lbs). Overall frame construction is good.

    I agree on the 4 levels of Fullsuspension needed.

    Race - X
    Trail - FTM ( or renamed )
    All Mountain - EG
    Down Hill - ????

    29er

    Race - HT 29er
    Race FS - Rockstar or Re-name.
    Trail - 29er ?????
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by sxr-racer
    For those that keep saying loose the FTM, Do you mean the name or the bike? If you say Bike, have you actually owned on? Have you ridden one. I have over a year on mine, with no issues with the construction or handling. It does everything I need it to and well. Yeah, the rear end is not their best acheivement, re-design it (I have not had an issue - 200Lbs). Overall frame construction is good.

    I agree on the 4 levels of Fullsuspension needed.

    Race - X
    Trail - FTM ( or renamed )
    All Mountain - EG
    Down Hill - ????

    29er

    Race - HT 29er
    Race FS - Rockstar or Re-name.
    Trail - 29er ?????
    I say kill it totally. The EG is the best Titus bike right now. Keep that and work down.

    They need a EG-lite. I keep saying that and I really think that is what people want. Keep the EG as it is, or raise travel to 170mm and make another bike, with a tapered head tube (I would say keep 1 1/8" but the tapered is all the rage), 140 mm of travel, 17" stays, a 68 HA, a 72-73 SA, and a 13.5" bb. All when set up with a 150mm fork.

    They could use a 2.25" shock on the EG to start with.

    When they get those bikes sorted, work on a 29" bike and move to a 4" race bike.

    I know you love the FTM but it seems to be plagued with problems.

  16. #16
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    RACER X....RACER X......RACER X!!!! You could create a lot of hype with the right marketing if you bring that beauty back.
    "You can't discern by calculating in your mind how it will work. You have to feel how it rides differently to understand."

  17. #17
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    Hey vesp. the eg is way overkill for my trails. My ftm is almost overkill. You call for an eg lite, but what your describing sounds more like an ftm/motolite with approx 150mm of travel. Why redesign the wheel. Yeah there are a few ftm's with failed rear ends. But I would guess there are far more with no issues.
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  18. #18
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    One of the key things that the new Titus should have is reliability both in product and price. If they produce a good bike with a price that does not skyrocket downwards in a couple of years. They could be back to restoring the brand image. All these dropped price sales that has been going on could serve as an introduction for people to the brand. So that they can experience how good Titus is. So that they will aspire for the all new 2012 Motolite and Racer-X. Preferably in exogrid!

  19. #19
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    I agree with the FTM being a light EG. At the end of the day that's what it is. Give it a new rearstay, tapered headtube if you like, call it something else , a little more travel and you're ready. The bike itself is great. The reviews say it all.
    The new owners have a great base to work with (am talking about all of the bikes in the range) and they probably know it. The rest is marketing.
    Kovi

  20. #20
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    Well, I got my ML from you bob, and it was the ride that really sold me. I was drawn like a moth to an awesome price, but the value is still there, because I've only been on big box bikes before (fisher, specialized, trek, well, except for gunnar). I think a grassroots program would be great, especially if they'd throw some swag my way, since I'll be racing the ML anyways. As said before ML and racer-x were some of the favorite rides, which may have needed slight updates, but not the whole overhaul that they got. I'd buy another titus from you, bob, over a central outlet.

  21. #21
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    I'd buy another titus from you, bob, over a central outlet.

    Well, that makes two of us.
    Kovi

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by wvucyclist
    I'd buy another titus from you, bob, over a central outlet.
    I would second this as well. Bob offered better service and attention than any of my local bike shops. On-one would be smart to sign bob up and make him a big part of their US efforts.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vespasianus
    I would second this as well. Bob offered better service and attention than any of my local bike shops. On-one would be smart to sign bob up and make him a big part of their US efforts.

    Ditto!!!!

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vespasianus
    I would second this as well. Bob offered better service and attention than any of my local bike shops. On-one would be smart to sign bob up and make him a big part of their US efforts.
    That I can agree with you on!
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vespasianus
    I would second this as well. Bob offered better service and attention than any of my local bike shops. On-one would be smart to sign bob up and make him a big part of their US efforts.
    Lucky for me, he is one of my (somewhat) local bike shops, shop being a loose word. Not only did he let me extensively test ride my ML, but he almost insisted that I ride a racer-x and rockstar.

  26. #26
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    Bikerbob is a righteous dude

  27. #27
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    Back on topic, although I do hear great things about Bob.

    I got to test ride a Racer X that was in the shop prior to buying. I kept it almost a week but knew I was going to buy one within the first 30 minutes of riding. To me this is the best way to test ride a bike, on a trail, most likely your favorite trail and for several days. All the bikes I test rode were in a concrete parking lot, big deal, they all felt horrible.

    I'd like to see Planet Bike keep the Racer X, Motolite and EG and go to work on their 29er line. Those were their most successful bikes and the bikes they became famous for.

    Secondly, I think that they should work through bike shops. All the shops in my area quit carrying them when they started selling on line and you could literally save $1000 on a frame.

    Third, Need to hit the road and build relationships out in the biking community again. Take some bikes, take the trailer, talk to bikers, go to shops, do lots of demo days. Their reputation needs to be repaired but they have good if not great bikes to sell and just need to start the healing process.

    Fourth, Get a great design team together to improve on their current offerings and develop the rest of the their line. They need a HT, they need 29ers. Make decisions on materials

    Fifth, marketing is critical. This goes along with #3, but we need to see their name in magazines, races, banners in shops, etc.

  28. #28
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    Bob mentioned Israel as one of his off-US customers came from, perhaps he meant me (unless there are additional buyers from my country who enjoyed his service).

    Titus doesn't get carried by any local LBS in my country even in brand's best days...
    Obviously, there is a distributor and this is the only way to buy brand new Titus locally but yet again - this is not a shop. Most certainly no demo available (and frankly I don't understand how people can build an opinion based on few hours demoing certain bike which most certainly wasn't set and tuned for their particular needs), and the prices are just out of any sense.
    As was mentioned previously, I also believe most of "boutique" frames buyers have raised their own level of IQ above average to be able to do their own homework before shelling about k's of $$, there are free access to reviews, user opinions, etc...and this is much more efficient way to promote particular brand/model if one really deserves it then demoing unset LBS one-for-all bike (if available at all) or listening to LBS adverts (unless one built really good relationship with LBS and can trust their word).

    I picked my FTM from Bob after researching about him on the forums and beyond and I believe the service was at least on-par and better then my LBS would given me. Besides, the fact of buying from a professional specializing in particular brand is confidence inspiring even though being distant some 10k miles from each other.

    BTW, albeit all what I read on FTM reliability, despite all of that bushing, mine keeps up really good so far (knocking onto wood), just today passed healthy some unexpected yet nasty mini DH section with some unstable rocky parts...full of mud (just like was my face after that :-)) ) but much more rewarding joyful feeling...

    Still thrilled by EG (aso given its firesale prices) but can't justify keeping two bikes...

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by alexzabr
    (and frankly I don't understand how people can build an opinion based on few hours demoing certain bike which most certainly wasn't set and tuned for their particular needs)
    The titus that bob had certainly wasn't totally my preference, but he did take the time to set up the shock properly and set up my position. I prefer to ride a bike in person rather than just riding it online. I did a ton of research also, I don't understand how somebody can buy a bike without ever riding it, though I understand that that option isn't available to everybody.

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    Being available to pick a properly set bike to particular user just for demo is certainly an ideal option and obviously no one would deny that, however this is usually a luxury and in most cases isn't an option.
    We have vast amount of bike shops in the country and many brands are represented but then most of the shops will not hold expensive boutique bikes in stock hoping to sell a few in months - just cannot justify that business-wise. Then, these you can take for a demo ride are generally-set, not every size is available, and I do not believe the shop will invest his available time fiddling with demo bike setup to fit properly the occasional person (and bike tuning may take some time...).
    Besides, demo bikes can never be build with your preference and that greatly influence rider's experience. Altering cockpit setup may alter rider's feeling drastically, not the most suitable suspension setup per particular user will certainly impact the opinion. In many cases the demo which is seldom ridden (or mostly ridden in parking lot) is not even broke in with its suspension so a demoing person may get the feeling of not much difference from riding his old hard tail...

    But certainly, you case, when Bob with his proper attitude to the customer, is available for personal assistance - is a huge benefit and for most perhaps an exception rater then rule....(and I can only envy you on that :-) )

  31. #31
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    I got my motolite purely because I was able to demo one when the Titus trailer came to town.

    That's the same reason I ride an Ibis Mojo now.
    功夫大师喜欢骑着他的自行车在山上。

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by GuruAtma
    I got my motolite purely because I was able to demo one when the Titus trailer came to town.

    That's the same reason I ride an Ibis Mojo now.
    Being able to ride a full suspension on a trail was crucial to me as well. That's why I think the demos and loaner bikes are critical to regaining market share. Not every bike shop can afford one, but if Titus/Planet Bike can figre out a way to make it work then more sales will surely follow. Test riding a full suspension bike in a parking lot is almost useless and I almost didn't buy a new bike because of it. Nothing rode as good as my 11 year old Stumpy HT on pavement.

  33. #33
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    I don't know much about Bob other than what I read in this forum. And based on that, if I had a Titus dealer like Bob in my neck of the woods, I would guess I wouldn't have hesitated buying my EG from him, welcoming the chance to actually see and feel the product before buying. But I don't....not here on Maui. Not even in the entire State of Hawaii. I probably own one of a handful of Titus' on this island. And quite frankly, if it weren't for the Jensen fire sale in 2009, I wouldn't own my EG. And that would be a damn shame (for me, anyway).

    I'm pretty sure no one responsible for conjuring up the fire sale in the first place did so to help spread the word about Titus and expand their loyal owner base, but I am proof that the online sale had just such an effect with at least some of us. After all, I really didn't need a new bike.

    So don't get me wrong, I fully recognize the value of supporting my local dealer, keeping the money in the local economy, etc. But a savy manufacturer, whether on the brink of bankruptcy or not, would be wise in this day and age to employ a balanced variety of methods to reach out to and expand its diverse potential client base.

    I'll tell you what....Bob will be the first guy I contact when I need parts for my EG.....thanks to Jensen making it impossible for me to resist buying the highly touted frame from the little-known company in the first place.

  34. #34
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    It was Bob's service that got me to pull the trigger. I didn't know what I really wanted and had a tight budget but I'd heard good hype about Titus as a brand and was tired of my super flexy Superlight. Bob hooked me up with an awesome weekend of test rides and was super patient helping me figure out the components on my first custom built bike. Service is key when you're asking people to drop big money. I really couldn't be happier with the results.

    That being said, Titus got my attention because of their reputation for design and durability. Being a mechanical engineer I completely geek out on that stuff; Titus was top of the pile for sure. The ideal distribution system would be Bob leading up direct sales given his great knowledge and service skills, then have organized bike demo's at big events throughout the year. Give people a chance to truly ride hard on the bikes, not the parking lot crap that the normal stores around here do. Can't think of a much better day than a Titus demo with a BBQ and local race thrown in. Let a local racer use a Titus in their event to get them and their friends excited about the brand.

    As far as the names go, Racer X and El Guapo have great reps. FTM may need a change once the rear end issues are eliminated. Rockstar just sounds strange. Either way Titus needs to keep innovating.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by salimoneus
    I think the perceived value of Titus frames tanked when it was announced the company was going belly up. The closeout prices were/are probably in line with what people are willing to pay for them, considering the uncertain future of the company, warranties, etc. We still don't have answers to many of those uncertainties.

    JensonUSA was one of the first to do a mass closeout and that was many weeks ago. They saw the writing on the wall and decided to minimize their losses. It's not every day a manufacturer goes bankrupt, so taking action as soon as they did allowed them to minimize losses and probably even still make a small profit.

    It is unfortunate for dealers, especially smaller dealers like BikerBob that have a more personal relationship with their customers, and a brand loyalty, who did not want to give up on the company quite so fast. I don't think anyone can really blame the new owners for wanting to liquidate and start anew though.

    I think a racing team is a great idea. I personally would like to see BikerBob more involved with the future of the brand. I think he has been a great asset to the Titus community, and few dealers can equal his passion and commitment. The new Titus would be wise to open talks with him in this regard.
    I also think so.

  36. #36
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    While I am a huge fan of the LBS approach, it'll be real hard to convince a lot of local shops to get on board after all the online blowouts. Maybe, some real sweet talk combined with a promise (read contract) not to sell any bike online might sway some shops. If I was still ordering for a shop, I'd be real hesitant to ever carry them. If they were to use LBS, I'd even suggest that they go the route that many big brands have setup and not let any bikes be mail-ordered, even from other LBS. If Titus went this way, they could offer any shop that carries Titus to also have On-one dealer pricing. But, I would never carry any bikes in a shop that were also available mail-order, well at least not for cheaper than I could do it. And not just Titus, I'd be pissed if I was a BMC or Ridley dealer and saw the clearance bikes at competitive cyclist for sale.

    That said, and now that I am far removed from the bike industry, I'd consider just going mail-order direct sale. It would water down the brand name a little, and prices would have to reflect that, but it could work. Taking the 30 point dealer margin off the price of the bike would get me to consider a well-made direct order bike that had a good customer service model.
    But either way, grass-roots racing would be key to rebirth, IMHO. You get a few people out there racing the new models, you get some decent advertising for very limited cost, just a few "pro-deal" bikes and maybe some race entry fees for your better riders.

  37. #37
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    I vote for LBS support with demos and price. The LBS I did visit were frustrated by the online pricing before the closeouts. I bought my EG based on the great reviews and satisfied customer comments. It'd be a shame to let a good name die.
    I for one would seriously consider a Titus again for the same reasons I did the first time. Great bike with a reliable history at a competitive price.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bikerbob.com
    Taking a cue from other posters, it seems a discussion of where and how the Titus brand will be marketed and sold in future is in order.

    How many Titus owners bought their bike from a well-stocked local shop? How many got the chance to ride one when Titus Mikey showed up with a huge truckload of demo bikes?

    How many of you were drawn like a moth to a flame when these previously high-priced frames began to show up as closeouts? What did this do to the perceived value?
    How important is a grass roots racing program to a boutique brand? Does that work well in promoting them?

    Titus' new owners in the UK have to make lots of decisions soon in order to make a go of restoring Titus. Are they best served by selling them online from one or two warehouses in North America and Europe, or a variety of outlets? Do they stop selling the current lineup and start over? Or build on the existing designs?

    What about the worldwide market? Numerous global importers and shops are still out there I personally have Titus customers in every part of the globe, including
    Scandinavia,Lithuania, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, Brazil and Spain.


    Just had to open this can of worms.
    good businesses sell their products in a variety of ways: online, brick and mortar and direct. titus' biggest issue is to make some better bikes.

  39. #39
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    I sold them for several years, and started with them while CC was still at the helm. I picked them due to reputation, titanium, and custom.

    Once they dropped road like a hot potato, it was a nail in the coffin. Then Exogrid became "passe" nail two. Outsourcing Ti production to Lynskey was nail three. And last, yeah, dumping frames on me "at a great deal" only to have them show up on line for less than I paid two weeks later, yeah, that did it for me.

    I'd agree, brand rep is in the tank, bring back the old names, make stuff that holds up, and doesn't require silly plates glued on to make the RD work properly, and yes, a 29er or two (100 and 140) without dumb names would be great!

    Many here aren't roadies, I don't do it that much myself, but as part of a bike line, for a smaller shop like mine, it made them a nice, "one stop" high end line.

    That I had to stock so many frames made it tough too. They didn't bring the demo truck this far east (Upstate NY) and the brand wasn't well known, so having to shell out 10K a year to be a dealer, and then sell bikes off what I stocked, and end up looking at most of my purchased inventory at years end, wasn't great. I'd have a large blue RX, they'd need medium, black, etc etc etc.

    For me, a non stocking dealer plan would be great, no other folks want the brand around here, so competition wasn't problem. Having road back in the line, even just a simple ti frame would be fine, don't forget ti HT's too!!! Custom was a solid attribute, making your own ti is key too. Sorry, Lynskey sucks, (too many horror stories about them to mention) all the AZ built ti I've sold? Bomber to this day.

    Not a dealer currently, no one's contacted me to date, not like I was a huge dealer or anyway, (but the only one in Upstate NY) so my feelings aren't hurt....
    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

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  40. #40
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    might want to change your website.
    Still listing Titus.
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  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by sxr-racer
    might want to change your website.
    Still listing Titus.
    If you're referring to me? I never "dropped" them, just offloaded my dumper RX's went into the winter, and they blew up, hence my not selling them.

    Since I've received no contact or info in the last month or three, I'm assuming they aren't at a point of dealer outreach for accounts of my size.

    All a long way of saying, not gonna take them off my site, yet.....
    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

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  42. #42
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    I think the non-stocking dealer could work for our shop as well. Hell, I'd buy one at regular dealer cost a year myself just to have. We end up in the same boat with our high end stuff, wrong color, wrong size blah blah...
    "I'm the fastest of the slow guys"

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by terrible
    I think the non-stocking dealer could work for our shop as well.
    Yep, set up with Lenz that way, works fine. Once I got to a predetermined number, frames got cheaper from there. I can live with that. If they take off like gang busters, it can always develop from there.
    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

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  44. #44
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    Yeah, if you're buying a high-end frame, you don't even WANT the one that's been banging around the shop for 5 months--unless it's a screaming deal--you want it special-ordered. Not logical, but the way the our brains work.

    Why wouldn't it work to have them available at lbs' where possible and sell from the Titus website for everyone else? Make it so it's $100 cheaper to buy from lbs to push people in that direction.
    whatever...

  45. #45
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    resale value of titus is poor compared to other brands because of how they throw out the frame prices.

  46. #46
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    I bought mine for two reasons. Its a 2008 racer x ti. First off a riding buddy said it was the perfect full susser for an old school hardtail holdout. Secondly it was on deep discount closeout at Jenson.

    IMHO carbon fiber sucks. Focus in on ti bikes again as its something that not many other people do. I would argue that you could do as little as 4 bikes. Racer x ti, el guapo ti, ti 29er and ti hardtail.

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by steadite
    Why wouldn't it work to have them available at lbs' where possible and sell from the Titus website for everyone else? Make it so it's $100 cheaper to buy from lbs to push people in that direction.
    It's Titus's recent history of screwing dealers by selling the frames cheaper through Jenson than they offered the dealers that would make a lot of dealers hesitant to stock them while also sold through other means.

    However, a no-stock dealer option, as mentined in this thread, would go a long way to reducing those fears. When I was at a shop in the late 90's, I worked with Waterford to bring in their new, at the time, Gunnar line this way. The only bike I ordered to become a dealer was my own hardtail. They listed us as a dealer and as they started to get magazine write-ups, we were the only one in the area as a dealer and we sold quite a few models without stock, I'd just show off my frame or one of the other customers' bikes that was being built up. As much as the would have liked us to stock up on bikes, they realized the no-stock option was the only way to get started in our shop. It ended up being a good relationship.

    The other problem for Titus these days is trying to differentiate itself from Specialized. Like it or not, the big S has come a long way to making their stock frames close in quality to the Titus "boutique" frame, even down to details of copying the clevis horst link idea from Titus. But Specialized can suck, from a dealer standpoint, as they really do pressure the crap out of shops to carry a lot or get no support from them.

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Whambat
    But Specialized can suck, from a dealer standpoint, as they really do pressure the crap out of shops to carry a lot or get no support from them.
    Yep, Spec was dropped like a bad habit around here for that reason.

    Couple Titus demo bikes, so people can see them and not a ton of stock sounds like a good idea

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bikerbob.com
    Taking a cue from other posters, it seems a discussion of where and how the Titus brand will be marketed and sold in future is in order.

    How many Titus owners bought their bike from a well-stocked local shop? How many got the chance to ride one when Titus Mikey showed up with a huge truckload of demo bikes?

    How many of you were drawn like a moth to a flame when these previously high-priced frames began to show up as closeouts? What did this do to the perceived value?
    How important is a grass roots racing program to a boutique brand? Does that work well in promoting them?

    Titus' new owners in the UK have to make lots of decisions soon in order to make a go of restoring Titus. Are they best served by selling them online from one or two warehouses in North America and Europe, or a variety of outlets? Do they stop selling the current lineup and start over? Or build on the existing designs?

    What about the worldwide market? Numerous global importers and shops are still out there I personally have Titus customers in every part of the globe, including
    Scandinavia,Lithuania, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, Brazil and Spain.


    Just had to open this can of worms.
    I think it depends on pricepoint. In this economy, I would sell online and offer warranty work through LBSs to get the best of both worlds (lower price point, dealer service). I would personally like to see something unique, like the ability to buy a pre-build online or to pick your own build kit (something I think would appeal to the experienced rider) - then you could offer dealer assembly and pass that business to the dealer, or let the user save a few bucks and let the assemble themselves. Let dealers stock a demo for the "need to ride first" crowd.

    I don't know how feasible all that is, just think it would be cool.

    Them: "Welcome to Titus, may I take your order"

    Me: "Give me a small FTM with the works...actually, let me get 140mm Fox fork, hold the TALAS (I'm on a diet), with a RP23 (ok hold the 3, I never use it anyway). Could I get an XT crankset with 165mm instead of 175mm arms please...and a bashguard on the side would be awesome."

    Them: "Will that be all"

    Me: "How are your wheelsets today? I'm in the mood for something lighter than usual, with decent strength for trail riding, but I don't want to may too, much."

    Them: "We have all these to choose from."

    Me: "Great, I'll take one of those, with a diet bashguard on the side."

    Them: "That will be 'something affordable' please, will that be cash or credit?"

    Your bike is not the only thing that needs maintenance!
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  50. #50
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    Hi. New poster here, but a Titus forum lurker for years. Felt time to post.

    I was lucky enough to get one of CC's last titanium ML2's. Here's the story (THERE IS A POINT).

    After reading the forums regarding super-clydes and AM bikes, Titus was one of the two recommended brands/models. I went to my LBS, test rode one that he had, and put a down payment on one. This was when the ML2 had those powder coating issues and was delayed for a long time. Needless to say, my LBS told me it would be 1 month, then 2 months, then it was about 6 months. When the frame finally came in, it was the wrong frame (the cross country model, I forgot it's name, which was considered a minor upgrade from the ML2). So, here are the options my LBS offered.

    1. Full refund of the down payment.
    2. FREE upgrade to the frame that did come in. (That would have been nice if I wasn't a clyde.
    3. FREE upgrade to a titanium model, and he would eat the cost difference between the Al and Ti versions. (Needless to say, I took this option, but split the cost difference with him, since it wasn't his fault.)

    Because of that I will ALWAYS purchase from an LBS, regardless of how little/much money I can save on line. (BikerBob and MCS, I consider you to be on line LBS's since it is very obvious from your involvement here that your customer comes first!!!).

    I would NEVER buy from a clearinghouse or limited distributor since money is the bottom line there. (Kind of like the difference between your local hardware store and Home Depot.)

    IMHO, if Titus wants to regain it's image and place in the marketplace, it must sell through the LBS.

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