On-One co-founder Brant Richards, who left the company two and a half years ago, has returned to the company to head up Titus Cycles.
Richards and his business partner, Planet-X entrepreneur Dave Loughran joined forces in 1999 to create the innovative, direct to consumer mountain bike brand On-One. The partnership ended nine years later, after they struggling to cope with the demands of a rapidly expanding business and inadequate systems to implement those demands.
Both men went their separate ways. Richards to set up his Shedfire consultancy firm with designer Matt Booth, developing brands Ragley, Nukeproof and Vitus for Chain Reaction Cycles and Hotlines. Loughran invested in his Planet-X/On-One brands, creating a new website, operating website, warehouse and showroom.
When Loughran and Planet-X acquired US brand Titus in November last year, the hunt was on for a lead designer to head it up. Following a number of chance meetings, it was announced today that Richards and Loughran have reunited, in what the pair see as a “chance to finish what they started ten years ago”.
Speaking to BikeRadar about his return, Richards believes the company is more suited to his own personality. “On-One was always an experiment to see how weird we could be in our designs,” he said. “Working with CRC has been brilliant but I’ve missed the aspect of just being as daft as I want. Being with such a big company didn’t really allow me that freedom. I’d just finished up with the Vitus 2012 range to it was as good a time as any to leave. I have questioned the sanity of leaving the biggest online bike company in the world, but it definitely feels like the right decision this morning.
"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.
“One of the reasons for leaving On-One in the first place was because I wanted to design more but there just wasn’t room in the company at the time for me to do that. And we ended up falling out and I kind of left in a huff. Dave has put in such a fantastic business management system in place since I left and it’s proved to me that going off in a huff can get you what you want in the end!"
Loughran added: "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 it’s 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".