The Fate of Ti
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Thread: The Fate of Ti

  1. #1
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    The Fate of Ti

    I'm about to purchase a custom frame, and right now it's between steel and Ti. I'm leaning towards a Merlin but I have to admit I'm concerned about ABG's recent refunding. It makes me wonder what went wrong (if anything.)

    Has Ti seen its' heyday in the bike market? Will ABG be around for the long run?

    Somebody... please... make me feel really good about buying a Merlin.

  2. #2
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    Abg?

    I own an older Merlin. What is ABG?

  3. #3
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    BICYCLE RETAILER NEWS
    JANUARY 18, 2007

    Equity Firm Invests in American Bicycle Group


    CHATTANOOGA, TN (BRAIN)--American Bicycle Group (ABG) has a new equity investor: private equity firm Renewal Capital of Greenwich, Connecticut. It also has a new global banking relationship with Raiffeisen Zentralbank Osterreich AG (RZB) of New York.

    “It’s a combination of new equity investment from a couple of different partners including lead investment from Renewal Capital, as well as a refinancing of debt that the company had outstanding with another bank. It’s a total recapitalization of the company,” said ABG interim chief executive officer Ken Sanginario.

    Renewal Capital becomes the company’s majority stakeholder, joining ongoing ABG stakeholder JHK Investments of Westport, Connecticut. JHK Investments purchased Litespeed from the Lynskey family in 1999 and later added the Quintana Roo and Merlin brands to form ABG.

    The refinancing is part of a total restructuring process ABG initiated 15 months ago, according to Sanginario. The process included hiring a new management team, applying lean manufacturing practices and implementing new retail distribution strategies.

    “The changes successfully implemented by ABG during 2006 are already generating significant rewards across all aspects of the ABG business model. The company’s absolute commitment to redefining top-of-the-market products with each of its brands and the resurgence of consumer demand for titanium product made it an appealing and viable investment for Renewal Capital,” said new ABG board chairman Kenneth Garnett of Renewal Capital.

    As well as fund the company’s continuous improvement initiatives and long-term objectives, the financing will fuel new marketing plans for 2007, including an aggressive promotional strategy designed to pull sales through its dealer network. Key to this strategy is its recent signing of professional road race team DFL-Cycling News-Litespeed and American mountain bike team Maxxis.

  4. #4
    Juanmoretime
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    Quote Originally Posted by separated shoulder
    BICYCLE RETAILER NEWS
    JANUARY 18, 2007

    Equity Firm Invests in American Bicycle Group


    CHATTANOOGA, TN (BRAIN)--American Bicycle Group (ABG) has a new equity investor: private equity firm Renewal Capital of Greenwich, Connecticut. It also has a new global banking relationship with Raiffeisen Zentralbank Osterreich AG (RZB) of New York.

    “It’s a combination of new equity investment from a couple of different partners including lead investment from Renewal Capital, as well as a refinancing of debt that the company had outstanding with another bank. It’s a total recapitalization of the company,” said ABG interim chief executive officer Ken Sanginario.

    Renewal Capital becomes the company’s majority stakeholder, joining ongoing ABG stakeholder JHK Investments of Westport, Connecticut. JHK Investments purchased Litespeed from the Lynskey family in 1999 and later added the Quintana Roo and Merlin brands to form ABG.

    The refinancing is part of a total restructuring process ABG initiated 15 months ago, according to Sanginario. The process included hiring a new management team, applying lean manufacturing practices and implementing new retail distribution strategies.

    “The changes successfully implemented by ABG during 2006 are already generating significant rewards across all aspects of the ABG business model. The company’s absolute commitment to redefining top-of-the-market products with each of its brands and the resurgence of consumer demand for titanium product made it an appealing and viable investment for Renewal Capital,” said new ABG board chairman Kenneth Garnett of Renewal Capital.

    As well as fund the company’s continuous improvement initiatives and long-term objectives, the financing will fuel new marketing plans for 2007, including an aggressive promotional strategy designed to pull sales through its dealer network. Key to this strategy is its recent signing of professional road race team DFL-Cycling News-Litespeed and American mountain bike team Maxxis.
    Many companies suffer from growing. Sometimes growth can help or hurt. Growth is good as long as the cashflow is there. I also feel that companies cannot continue to do business as they have in the past to survive and that is exactly what Litespeed is doing. I've been in their factory and they are just a bunch of people that are very loyal, dedicated and passionate about what they do. They ride, it pretty obvious from the amount of bikes on the cars outside the factory, and care about the bicycles they build and the perception of their customer. In some ways I feel Litespeed is misunderstood since everyone thinks that they are this giant company and they are really not. Litespeeds are probably the most common titanium bicycle in the market but no way are there as many Litespeeds on the road compared to Trek, Specialized or even Cannondale. Litespeed will survive as long as they continue to listen to their customers, which they do, and keep the passion alive to build high quality titanium bikes.

    Titanium is not dead and will always be appreciated by those that know the magic of the metal.
    Last edited by Juanmoretime; 02-02-2007 at 01:04 PM.
    For my next trick I will now set myself on fire!

  5. #5
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    It sure doesn't sound like growing pains to me. Before the recapitlization they were in debt, and they needed so much funding they lost control of their company to an equity firm. It doesn't sound like something a healthy company would ever do.

    I believe they make great bikes. My impression is that the Ti market has suffered at the hands of the CF trend (if that's fair to say.)

    With a new management team and goals to streamline production I'm concerned about quality control.

    Litespeed/Merlin - What say you?

    Respectfully,
    Separated Shoulder

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    Quote Originally Posted by separated shoulder
    It sure doesn't sound like growing pains to me. Before the recapitlization they were in debt, and they needed so much funding they lost control of their company to an equity firm. It doesn't sound like something a healthy company would ever do.
    I can assure you all is well with us. The group that has invested in us is actually a group that is young and fit and very passionate about cycling and the outdoors. They invested in us because they actually see very good growth for us in the future and one thing they certainly would not want to see is customer service and quality go down.

    Along those lines we will soon have a press release go out about the most amazing partnership just have formed, and that will say how much one of most technically advanced companies in the world (not the cycling world but the world as a whole) believes in our manufacturing here and what we are able to do.
    The announcement will blow the mind of lots of folks I can promise. :-)

    Herbert

    Litespeed
    www.litespeed.com
    The Litespeed blog

  7. #7
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    Wow

    Quote Originally Posted by HerbertK
    I can assure you all is well with us. The group that has invested in us is actually a group that is young and fit and very passionate about cycling and the outdoors. They invested in us because they actually see very good growth for us in the future and one thing they certainly would not want to see is customer service and quality go down.

    Along those lines we will soon have a press release go out about the most amazing partnership just have formed, and that will say how much one of most technically advanced companies in the world (not the cycling world but the world as a whole) believes in our manufacturing here and what we are able to do.
    The announcement will blow the mind of lots of folks I can promise. :-)

    Herbert

    Litespeed
    www.litespeed.com
    The Litespeed blog

    ... Can't wait to hear about your new plans.

    All the Best!

  8. #8
    I-M-D bell curve of bikn'
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    I think Ti is in no way losing in the bike market. It has been here for many a year and will remain. I love my Litespeed and will keep it until I upgrade to another Litespeed.
    Ego Campana Inflectum of Circuitous

  9. #9
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    I recently saw a article in one of the bicycling publications that said Carbon Fiber may be the one that becomes extinct. The article said that Boeing was going to build their next generation passanger plane and a good portion of the plane would use composite construction. They said that Boeing would pretty much dominate the Carbon Fiber market and if you did not have a deal already set with a Carbon Fiber source, building bikes would become difficult due to the shortage of Carbon Fiber. Just a thought, I know I see a lot of companies putting all their egg's in the Carbon Fiber basket. I on the other hand love my Litespeed Ultimate and would not think of riding anything else.

  10. #10
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    "Titanium is not dead and will always be appreciated by those that know the magic of the metal" ......Sounds like someone has been snorting chain lube. Or Pledge left over from cleaning the frame.

  11. #11
    Steaming piles of opinion
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    Quote Originally Posted by separated shoulder
    I'm about to purchase a custom frame, and right now it's between steel and Ti. I'm leaning towards a Merlin but I have to admit I'm concerned about ABG's recent refunding. It makes me wonder what went wrong (if anything.)

    Has Ti seen its' heyday in the bike market? Will ABG be around for the long run?

    Somebody... please... make me feel really good about buying a Merlin.
    First off, I think ABG will be around for a while.

    Secondly, it almost doesn't matter. As is, they're well built and will pretty much last forever. If you bought it today and they went out of business tomorrow, you'd still have a terrific bike to ride for the rest of your life, and one who's value on ebay would have increased along the way.

    Get a good Ti bike, whether or not it's from ABG. Opinions vary, but mine is that well-done titanium is hard to beat. If we were to assume that Ti has had it's heyday, then the same thing would be even more true for steel. Yet you consider it too - so you have answered (in a way) your own question.

    Steel will be around for a long time - not because it's necessarily a superior material, but because there are a certain number of folks that like it, and for good reason. Ti will be around for the same reasons - plus, because it is a superior material. But neither will ever be mainstream - steel is obsolete (from a market perspective) , and Ti is too expensive. Inexpensive bikes will be Al, midrange will be carbon, and the 'new' will be the next thing that 'replaces' carbon. Might be a new composite, might be metal matrix, might be nanostructured carbon, might be something else still.

    (yes, I oversimplify. Deal with it.)
    A good habit is as hard to break as a bad one..

  12. #12
    Defender of Freedom...
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    Quote Originally Posted by HerbertK
    I can assure you all is well with us. The group that has invested in us is actually a group that is young and fit and very passionate about cycling and the outdoors. They invested in us because they actually see very good growth for us in the future and one thing they certainly would not want to see is customer service and quality go down.

    Along those lines we will soon have a press release go out about the most amazing partnership just have formed, and that will say how much one of most technically advanced companies in the world (not the cycling world but the world as a whole) believes in our manufacturing here and what we are able to do.
    The announcement will blow the mind of lots of folks I can promise. :-)

    Herbert

    Litespeed
    www.litespeed.com


    The Litespeed blog
    Herbert-

    Any clue as to Litespeed's new partner?

    JR
    It never gets easier. You just go faster. – Greg LeMond

  13. #13
    What up, dog?
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    Quote Originally Posted by HerbertK
    The announcement will blow the mind of lots of folks I can promise. :-)
    Has this happened yet?

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by axebiker
    Has this happened yet?
    Yes, in order to better reach it's core demographic Litespeed has partnered with AARP.

  15. #15
    What up, dog?
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    Quote Originally Posted by ewitz
    Yes, in order to better reach it's core demographic Litespeed has partnered with AARP.
    You're a riot...

  16. #16

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    Yes, in order to better reach it's core demographic Litespeed has partnered with AARP.
    That's gold, Jerry, GOLD!

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