Ragley/Nuke Proof designer Brant Richards and his Shedfire crew have taken over UK componentry company X-Lite, and will launch their first new products at next month's Eurobike trade show.
Former owners the Trimnell family have sold the brand in order to focus on their other bike business, Muc-Off, and it sounds like Richards has big plans.
"We're working around the brand's original ethos, producing tidy aftermarket upgrade components, many CNC machined and anodised in several colours," he said. "It'll be mid- to high-end stuff, with one key product being a rigid full-carbon fork available in both 9mm and 15mm through-axle options."
While details of the new products have yet to been released, it sounds like many X-Lite classics will be continued – we're guessing this means stuff like quick-release skewers, seat clamps and bar ends. The products will be available in the UK through Hotlines Europe, who also distribute Ragley and Nuke Proof.
“Hotlines are really looking forward to working with such a great UK brand, with an amazing amount of pioneering UK mountain bike history behind them," said marketing manager Andy Gowan. We’ve got the ideal combination of cutting-edge design with top-notch distribution and customer service, to make the relaunch of X-Lite a big success.”
Poole-based X-Lite was founded by Rex Trimnell, a former motorbike racer, in 1991, and its range of lightweight and tough 'bike bling' proved a hit in the emerging mountain bike market. Since Rex died from a brain haemorrage in 2004, aged 60, the company has been run by his son Alex, daughter Emma and wife Marilyn.
X-Lite's cleaning products sub-brand, Muc-Off, has really taken off, moving into the motorcycle, caravan and marine markets with great success. Alex said: "With the exponential growth of Muc-Off over the last five years Marilyn, Emma and I decided there wasn't either the time or focus available to carry on growing the X-Lite brand.
"We decided to seek a suitable company that would not only take X-Lite forward but would also respect the brand, heritage and design aesthetic. When we discussed this opportunity with Hotlines and Shedfire, we knew that their team would not only understand X-Lite’s past, but would also have the energy, passion and technical knowledge to drive its future innovation."
He added: "I've had a sneak preview of the new designs and all I can say is that I'm very excited! I'm personally looking forward to working closely with the Hotlines team to assist in the ongoing development."
Following their launch at Eurobike, X-Lite's new products will also be on show at the new Hotlines London Show, which is open to the public from 9-10 October – more on this soon. For more details, visit www.hotlines-uk.com.