Race Face Performance Products, a global leader in the design, manufacturing, marketing and distribution of high performance cycling components and apparel, has shut down the machines after 18 years of business.The impact this mid-size Canadian manufacturer has had on the mountain bike world is legendary. From the very first bombproof components designed and tested in the shadow of Vancouver's North Shore, to the myriad of world class athletes that have flown the RF flag, Race Face has been killing it from the start.
photo: Sterling Lorence
An innovative company from its inception, Race Face pushed the technology envelope with every product that went out the door. In addition to making some of the sweetest aluminum bits and pieces a CNC machine can produce, their proprietary carbon technology set the standard for lightweight yet durable composite components.
Race Face has been a consistent industry leader in mountain bike protection, setting the bar for what it means to have functional yet comfortable armour and pads. The same can be said for their technical and casual apparel. Race Face clothing has been at the forefront of an extremely competitive apparel market for a long time, and can be seen on some of our sports greatest riders.
It was my honour to have worked for Race Face for nearly 5 years. It seems almost a lifetime ago that I was scrimping and saving for my first pair of North Shore cranks. Years later, having spent many a late night in an office so chock full of parts you could barely move, I can only imagine how Canadians and riders around the world will feel hearing the news.
What happens from here? A brand with so much equity and such a loyal following must surely carry on in some way. Stay tuned for more updates as they become available.
From all of us at Pinkbike, we wish the people behind the Race Face name the best in the future. Have a fond or favourite memory or just a shout out for the folks over at RF? Let's hear it...
john p (who works there) posted this on RM
I wish the situation was optimistic, but we've been told the company is going to be liquidated, and 90% of us are unemployed as of next week. They'll keep a few people on to assist with the liquidation.
My tenure with the company has been short, but it's been a fun ride. Thanks to all the great athletes, customers, and media folks I've had the opportunity to work with. Thanks also to the amazing group of coworkers I have out here. All of you make stuff like this hurt a lot less.
thanks for the great time
Raceface was a good company that made a couple of really poor desicions in their marketing, which started with parting ways with lambert in favor of a big box store which ended up only buying a few select peices. They had deep roots, got guys like Matt Hunter, Kurt Sorge, Bourdon, Vanderham, the claw, and so many more legends going. Sad to see them go, but everything must end sooner or later.
In the words of Jerry Manger: "Progress must be always questioned, it must be held guilty until proven innocent"
Second of all-this won't garner a positive reaction I'm sure, but Race Face bet the house on one idea essentially and lost. Stop making riding clothing that looks like pajamas and people might consider buying it! I contacted the company after I bought some gear soon after they bought Roach, had some suggestions, they told me to buzz off. Well, your turn to buzz off now.
Also-when every other company is finding ways to make stuff strong and light, how could raceface come out with crap like the diabolous line? Who wants a 1 lb stem? It's not 1999 anymore.
As hard as this will be for many to digest, this company has been stale for years. Might be a case of too many of the incumbent workers that started out as riders slowly turned into boring suburban fatso's?
I would argue that losing raceface in 2002 would have been a big deal, and essentially we did. Losing this incarnation of raceface in 2011? Not a big deal.
Finally-the Lambert monopoly needs to be broken up!
all ive heard so far is "some guy on a forum" and "oh my mates mate said this"
Both clothing and components? Super weird. Most companies don't keep pumping out new products, advertising everywhere and sponsoring riders right up the end. Definitely gonna suck if no one buys them up. I'm gonna have to start buying my bars somewhere else.
The Canadian Bike Industry.
If you step back and look, they haven't been doing anything all that innovative or impressive for awhile now. Atlas is affordable and decent but nothing special and, aside from that, they don't have much going for them. Their cranks are mediocre and a pain in the ass to install compared to Shimano offerings. With SRAM stepping up in the crank game and niche companies like e13 putting out cool shit, they were getting beaten back pretty well. 661 and other companies are putting out better armor than RaceFace now... Companies like Straitline, Point1, Twenty6, etc make way cooler stems and such... what's that leave for Race Face, bars and posts... Where they again have only mediocre offerings compared to the things coming out from companies like Easton or Edge.
Sad but not shocking.
throw in the new colored Easton bars and stems (which look good in picture, stunning in real life) and cromag bars and stems which almost instantly spelled trouble for raceface as soon as they came out.
Atlas bars are nothing special, their cranks are fussy and are a pain to work on, cool colors that rub off and look terrible at the end of the month. Customer service that was 2nd to everyone. Only thing they had going was their sponsorship program and contests of the early 2000's (almost 10 years ago)
BTW if you like cheap Ti bolts make sure material doesn't come from Sierra Leone.
BTW I learned my lesson Leeroy, don't try to stuffing me with what you think are my political beliefs as currently I have none. i hate systems and economical ideas who are meant to save us all like "planned obolescence". I am into "take the things into your own hands", make world better by improving yourself. I am speaking here about being a good human being, instead of greedy egocentric self oriented person with a want want mind of 10 yr old having bigger and bigger appetite and trouble in satisfying his hunger for new toys.
RIP Raceface :'(
Sorry to hear about raceface... Sadface.
I will miss this company.
Raceface did not give MEC exclusive rights, they just started selling to them. Because MEC is a co-op they are able to sell goods at lower prices then other bike stores in canada. As a result LBS(distributor) realized they would have to lower their prices or else their canadian market would buy from MEC. Because MEC does mostly maintenance on older bike (which is why they stock and display 10 year old bbs) they don't carry high end RaceFace parts, which if you know RaceFace is most of what they make. Without the channel of LBS that meant most canadian bike stores dropped RaceFace.
There was a general sense last year that MEC's entry into the Canadian bike industry would be the equivalent of Wal-Mat... if they carried RaceFace, had knowledgeable technicians, and much better bikes. As a consequence in this case there as a general sense that RaceFace had sold out to big business and had hurt local bike shops. The conflict got to a point last year where my local bike shop wouldn't sell me a RaceFace part they had in stock, because they didn't want to support the company. I suspect the people within the Canadian industry who worked so hard to bring RaceFace down will probably see this as a win for the local bike community... thanks guys...
Yes, you can get good deal's online. with no service to back them up. if you'd like to know why your shop can't bring their prices down look no futher then yourself. without being able to do alot of volume your local shop has to tighten up its purse strings and make you pay full pop to pay for things like
Rent (commercial rent at that!)
Shop supplies you done see
An online store gets to cancel out a few of these. Running a warehouse out in the country that holds 8 bikeshops woth of gear costs about the same as renting a storefront. If all you guys who are buying online bought inshop then they could being their prices back down. Also Bikeshops don't make a whole lot on items. if you think they are making 2000$ off a full pop 4000$ bike, you are VERY wrong.
I'll also add that buying outside of your city/town etc means your money goes away, your town/local economy/province and country rely on you spending you dollars locally. the tax you pay with your set of cranks goes towards things like medicare, police, local parks, keeping you road paved and people in your community having a flow of money. If you work at an advertising firm and go buy a bike at a local shop, then that shop now has money to advertise. which they might hire you for, and now you have made money back. Simple eh? if you spend money and get stuff from England or the states, that money doesn't get pumped back into your local economy. it just goes away and that pothole you just blew the strut in your car out with doesn't get fixed.
currently in canada some distributors are feeling the online pinch and marking down MSRP's while keeping the cost to you bikeshop the same. So even if your local shop is filled with a bunch of dickholes, maybe that new XO setup you wont shut up about buying online is the reason they are like that.
Support your LBS, your local economy and in doing so, yourself.
Now, when it comes to things like a complete bike, gears, brakes etc, things that NEED attention that maybe you can't do yourself (not everyone is mechanically inclined I guess, or they're too young to know), then it makes sense to buy at a local shop. By forging a good relation with these people, not only will you be supporting locals, you'll also get better service and sometimes bonuses (I have had local shops give me free little parts if i needed them, or discounts, because I went to them and bought from them), as opposed to showing up at your LBS with a bike you bought online, and saying "yea I bought this online and its not working. Can you fix it?". This really translates to: "Hi guys, I didn't like your pricing, so I decided to purcahse from a warehouse type business online with no face. The product is great but I know nothing about it, and seeing as I can't send it to them for service, I saw you as the last resort. A big EFF YOU to your pricing, but fix this please. Cheap too".
So as I agree with needing to support the local guys and having good relations with them, sometimes people can't afford ot help these guys out, and have to look elsewhere for cheaper alternatives.
Two sides to the coin, right?
Depends on the shop; its a two way street. They won't earn my respect, without repecting me first. That goes for everything; From pricing their things too high and thinking I am a fool (indirect disrespect), to ignoring me when I come into the shop (direct disrespect). (Sidenote*: neither has ever been the case at Phat Moose Cycles in Ottawa. If anyone is visiting the nation's capital, check them out! Great guys, Dave and Kent. )
PS You aren't the only one here who knows how to maintain and fix their own bike. I think 90% of us can. (aside from the 12 yearolds who have their parents pay for everything). If the LBS's went out of business, despite your theory of a Bicycle Repair Apocalypse, a lot of us would be just fine fixing our own rigs and purchasing online or second hand.
again does NOT by any means imply NOT to support your LBS. Like I said, if they're good people, looking for honest business, then by all means go there FIRST....
@ WAKI if there ever was a good communist leader.. we would all benefit.. the problem is they are all in for it to get rich themselves.. true comunism will work imo.. i dont think you really can judge coming from polen what is as corrupt as russia.. ? you can try to defend it..but i have a friend there.. it aint all sunshine.. true crime is corruption in kapitalism,.. its time to take the power back "rage against the machine"
i pose a new world law !! >>
bureaucracy = corruption = treason = punishable by death.. Save RaceFace !
Going on Holidays is not supporting anyone but travel agencies. I don't know anyways why most tourists go on holidays, "because everybody does" I guess. They waste time and money. Locals eventually get some very little money for living, but then they are getting more and more dependent on it. Whatever happens making tourists don't come - they are screwed.
I'm into being a good human being! Be good to your fellow neighbour. Revolution from within and stuff, redistribution of goods by 100%own will, compassion driven
** to all those who are going to bitch that I didn't write it out in English, its nothing important or against anyone here really. It was directed only at him, in his language
I'm not complaining, I just think its funny that You bother To defend WAKI when Its clearly not the time or place to make irrelevent Comments that have absolutelly nothing to do with the subject matter. And that you use The PB people as the proving ground For a statement like Dlatego że JA jestem język polski (blask) rozumiem co One nie rozumieją Komunizm.
You have to admit though, like I said in Polish, very little people care to give any thought towards where their product comes from (manufacturer origin). I admit that an american or european made frame is a lot nicer than some taiwanese stuff (Although the RM/Specialized stuff is all mechanized anyway, and they come out with some above standard stuff), however most people will roll with what fits the budget and works.
Even look at Blk mrkt. Riot vs Mob. Almost identical frames, except one is made in the USA, and one is made in Taiwan or wherever. The Mobs are nicer frames, however the average user won't notice the difference between the cheaper asian import version. People like us might notice, looking at the welds, the steel quality, the overall feel; however some young kid with a budget will go with what he can afford.
Same principle applies to purchasing parts (online vs. LBS), or whatever it is when it comes to chosing local economy vs preserving your wallet outflow.
Just my point of view. I hope I am still entitled to one, no?
RaceFace started as a small BC machine shop churning out wicked parts in the late 90's.
Mountain biking boomed... and suddenly RaceFace was "manufacturing" tons of cheap off-shore *cough*ASIA*cough* parts as OE spec on new showroom bikes.
WTF happened to "forged & CNC'd in Delta, British Columbia"???
Who cares about thousands of cast alu cranks that arrive on a container ship??? **** that **** and the guy who thought it was a good idea for the company at that time.
It's the death of any small, dedicated and focused manufacturing company that tries to expand beyond what they can make within its' own walls and turns to cheap out-sourced crap from China & Taiwan with their logos upon it (even if it's decent quality, it's still crap compared to home-land made parts). That this happened to such a legendary Canadian staple just stings even more.
Then again... does ANYONE remember the original Syncros? Or Bontrager... Machine Tech... Manitou... Avid... Control Tech... the list goes on and on, small companies that either died small or tried to get big and got MADE IN TAIWAN instead. Hello Tenneco/Marzocchi !!!
I have some old-school Delta, BC made RaceFace parts, and have been using them for years... and will continue to seek out deals on used "real" RaceFace parts with this crappy news.
This ****ing blows! I shed a tear... I'm going to go stare at my 1st gen Dues machined stem, my XO seat post, and Turbine ISIS cranks until this all makes sense
It's like aftermarket car stereos. If my car comes with an 8 speaker bose 600w system out of the fatory, I'm not going to go look at upgrading it. Back in the day everyone bought and installed aftermarket stuff
The parts have always been something I was proud to run for many reasons, local, still CNC'd in New West and for real the best I could ever lay my hands on. I have been fortunate to have had access to the quality that Raceface provided and can honestly day that after 12+ years not once have any of the parts ever let me down in any way.
This is about more than business folks, to me it is the end of an era, this is like the hiphoppers losing Tupac. I was very happy with all the work the good employees at RF were pulling off, and I hope that all of them are relocated and can continue their quests for greatness in this crazy industry.
Lets hope that they can resurface somewhere, a brand like RaceFace reminds me of crusty old shredders like me, you just can't keep us out of the game for long, this is what we do.
Cheers to all that put up with the SideShow, and thank you.
moving production overseas may have been a fatal move. you can have your cake and eat it in terms of home production and quantity of sales. just look at what hope has done (ok they aren't quite on the same scale) all their stuff is inhouse with the exception of bearings and electronics for lights etc. if i had the money i would snap race face up in a flash, the name alone is worth it's weight in gold but at the same time if it is bought i hope that it isn't soiled by cheap shite (like ironhorse seem to be)
I guess you have no clue!!!!
some of it was still made in canada but it is a *fact* that a lot of stuff was made overseas recently
don't get so defensive mr angryontheinternet
Shimano/sram/e13 make better cranks/bbs, straitline/sunline/thomson make better stems, hope/FSA/cane creek/chris king make better headsets, 661 makes better armor, sunline/shimano/answer make better bars, and thomson/rock-shox/easton make better posts.
Race-Face is only slightly popular because they made superficial coloured components. They haven't done anything performance-pushing in years, and had fallen back onto making multi-coloured components. They had it coming.
Their BB/crank mounting system is frustrating as it always comes loose, the only thing that they made that would be run because its good, performance wise, would be the 780mm Bars, and even then only because they're 780mm.
It is my opinion that the start of the downfall of RF was the move to MEC. At that point once we sold out of RF products, yes we did carry inventory while they were distributed through Lambert, people were steered towards equivalent products from companies that we could get through the distributors we had. I am sure that many other shops did the same thing.
While Canada is a smaller market than both the USA and Europe, I would venture to guess that Canada was close to 50% of RF's total market.
In the end it doesn't really impact me too much. Yes I will have to search for bars that I like the feel of as much as the RF ones, but at 46 years old my Diabolus and Deus cranks will out live me as will mt Atlus and Diabolus stems. Shimano BBs will work with my cranks so I am set. I still feel bad that one of the great Canadian bike component companies has closed its doors.
if you actually check out the dealers on their website, you will see that many, many shops in canada still deal with raceface.
Second, their website mentions nothing of this, how about an update or even a placeholder page like Ironhorse's "coming soon" which will never happen.
And thirdly, a REASON. As an announcement of liquidation this article is extremely unprofessional and unlikely. Never seen a company announce their failure as an article on a 3rd party website.
super sad to see an MTB icon go down; not for the loss of parts but the loss an established brand.
I'm just talking about Atlas stuff. I still have some old school Deus cranks that aren't bent because they are meant for XC, and that's how they are ridden. But, my two sets of Diabolus 5 year old cranks are stiff as ever, even after tons of huge drops to harsh landings. Every company has their hits and misses. As for RaceFace, the Atlas series will be sorely missed.
I have only one Race Face component - which is a "Ride" handle bar - which I thought I will sell someday , but now i think i will keep it as a souvenir.
Anyways if its true - I just hope they open up soon and get back on trails too.
Vineet Sharma - Freerider Mountain Bike Magazine - www.freeridermag.in
Now what can I do to that tat?
Antron, you do understand but you do not support local shops.you are buying online and therefore you are in effect taking money out of your local community. Please get this straight...you are the problem.
I grew up lusting after RF stuff. Seems impossible that a brand with such a storied history in the MTB world would be able to fail. I'm proud I just kitted out my bike with RF bars, stem, grips and cranks.
Let's wait and see more news nect week.....sad news!
But, that would mean the product is still viable, so a company could buy up all the patents and patterns, and continue production under a new name. They could even use the same staff, machinery etc, but it'll probably get tied up in the courts for aaaaaaaages.
*BUT* that's just internet rumour and buzz, so it could all be wrong, and this whole thing could turn out to be a weird hoax.
I guess time will tell.
That puts me in a bind now... who next for bars/stems/cranks?
Shimano is the easy call for cranks.. but there in NO-ONE else that makes a wide range of bars and stems like RaceFace do that look good!
I challenge anyone to name a company that can compete with the quality and style of raceface's product that covers the entire cross section of mountain biking....
start your list here:
Sorry to hear the bad news
LONG LIVE RACEFACE!!!!!!!
i love you raceface :'(
Imagine, a Norco fully decked out in Race Face gear, I for one would lust over something like that.
Ho hum, luck to the workers for Race Face and a poke in the eye to their management for watching the world end without getting things sorted.
San Diego, CA
you will be missed
If I could ask any of you to do me a favor.
Post a video about shoutouts, Sessions, your bike or anything related for Race Face as a tribute.
I'll miss them. I at least want to show some gratitude
Add me not for reasons of having alot of friend but just to show me you will or already have.
R.I.P RACE FACE and ALL OF THE AFTERMATH
WE WILL NEVER FORGET YOU!
I know the son of the original guy who started Race Face and I'll e-mail him Monday to get more info because he's still in contact with the guys who own it now.
This truly sucks though.
Soldier on, we're all going to miss you & we'll be w8n for you.
no way I can believe it, I think always RACE FACE was an icon in DH FR industry, Im really sad with this news, Im sure this is a big loss for all of us that love the quality products for our bikes.
Que tal no puedo creerlo, siempre pensé que RACE FACE fué un icono en la industria DH y FR, realmente esta noticia me pone bastante triste. Estoy seguro que esta es una gran p+erdida para los que valoramos los productos de calidad en nuestras bicis.
i feel badly for all the employees and sponsored riders who suffer because of this
but i don'r feel bad for the douchebag owners who never had any love for the actual sport of mountain biking except the money they made off of it.
race face was started by two or three business/marketing losers. who just saw an opportunity.
when rocky was about to go out of business, they bought it
for a while the parts were made and designed in new west by a team of good people, but only two of them rode bikes hard for real. the rest were a bunch of roadies on dirt. not even having a clue about where the market was heading.
so when we started riding bikes hard and smashing parts, race face parts. on a REGULAR BASIS.
and told them about how they needed to step it up
they said nope, thats not where the market is. we're gonna sink millions into this stupid carbon crank that won't ever really work, and nobody will ever buy. and we're gonna keep supporting this crazy engineers difficult to produce ideas. just to be unique. anybody remember the very first quill/ahead style stem they made? yeah, weird huh?
good idea raceface. i don't know how you got out of that mess but you did
in the meantime everybody wondered why their raceface cranks fell off all the time (not a maintenance problem believe me) and shimano and kooka cranks never did
of course you still had to run all that stuff with a raceface bb because they were undisputedly the best.
then they decided, all this costs too much money
lets get taiwan to make most of our parts
anybody who says taiwan makes parts as good as north america is a retard
they will tell you they've made all the parts they've shipped you to spec and hope you don't actually check. but we did. and they were f*cked a lot of the time.
but by that point the parts were needed to fill orders anyway. so they got sold.
Reasons for Race Face's apparent financial difficulties are unclear. The order book was reported to be strong and only last month they announced they'd signed a two-year sponsorship deal with freerider Aaron Chase. Known for their cockpit kit and CNC machined cranks, the company are big players in the OEM market, supplying bars, stems, seatposts and suchlike for complete bikes from many big brands.
Speculation spread like wildfire via Twitter and online forums after Chris Armstrong from WhistlerMountainBike.com tweeted "Rumors confirmed. Race Face is closing their doors" late on Friday. If the reports are true, the next step is likely to be the sale of either Race Face's assets or the entire business, which began life as an offshoot of Rocky Mountain Bicycles,
oh nevermind, it's from a seller who's been around for ever.
This is bad, for various reasons:
* Always sad to see small businesses go under and cave in to the superpowers of mass-production and far-east manufacturing. Small business are good for generating diversity and progression, and now there's one less of them in our sport.
* Let's not forget some good people are losing their jobs, and in this industry it's not that easy. Maybe if 50% of the population rode mountain bikes it would be easier to succeed, but it's not.
* Last but not least, their products are really good. I didn't own too many but the ones I did never failed me.
Hope the brand lives on and everybody finds jobs elsewhere - good luck!
I know many people there are sad about what that means for you our loyal customers and we all hope that somewhere, someone will take up the legacy and design some serious parts that make people stop and stare....its all about bringing sexy back...right Julian?
Do you NEED them red?
and now i feel like less of a rider... totally bummed
JOIN THIS GROUP ON FACEBOOK!
LET'S MAKE OUR OPINION TO BE HEARED!
Maybe they got "to big for their britches". Small production and direct company control has its advantages. I'm sure MEC didn't help them. Money is t he route of all evil.
Guess I better go get the good Race Face stuff that's left before it's all gone........
If it is so, I have to wear my race face stuff every minute from now on !
Now shimano has a monopoly on anything worth riding.
Guess I'll be stocking up on RF gear.
this is way too sad to be real.
Not to mention all RF stuff I've got on my bikes. Crap.
I DISLIKE I
too bad about raceface tho, hopefully someone buys the company...
In Canada they celebrate 'l'espiègle idiot' which is like our April Fools day.
this f***ing sucks.
Raceface=only bombproof crank on the market.
Maybe I'm wrong and its all because of the earthquake?
Bottom line though, I'm sorry to see them go, its a good brand afterall.
I'll keep my diabolus like a precious then !
That's really a shame
Damn daylight savings time messes with peoples heads!
ah well atleast there be some cheap parts now
still sad though :'(
R.I.P (Raceface Is Perfect)
good wishes from me!!
race face being out of the business would be a hard loss for the bike world, I still hope it's just a joke.
Race Face is now "Erased Face"..... Yikes!
It too early for April Fool joke...
cryin shame /3
First Carbon bars to market?
First CNC machined rings and cranks?
Could be wrong as I'm a RF fanboy
They did not need to invent anything really great, they were (are) good guys that wanted to do bike parts in the place where MTB is very special. However u come from Poland where people forgot how wonderfuly they refused to be a gray mass 30 years ago, and now with sheer