After over 18 years of business, Race Face entered into receivership on March 12, 2011, leaving a massive gap in the boutique mountain bike market. Riders, dealers and distributors alike were stunned as groundbreaking components such as Atlas Freeride, SIXC, NEXT SL, and Turbine suddenly became rare collectables.
In a tightly contested bidding war for the Canadian manufacturer, North Shore local and former Race Face VP of Sales Chris Tutton has emerged at the helm. Tutton joined Race Face in 1994 as a customer service rep, was promoted to Director of Sales in 1998, and then to VP of Sales in 2002. After 14 years with the brand, Chris was instrumental in helping push sales to over $15 million per year. He resigned in 2008, taking over as Director of OEM Sales for Easton Bell Sports.
“I have always believed in the Race Face brand and in the quality of the products we make,” said Tutton. “We will build upon a very solid foundation and continue to meet the needs of our current customers, while expanding our market and focusing our product line.”
Chris Tutton will remain as a contractor with Easton Bell Sports, hiring an additional OEM sales person who will report to him while he rebuilds Race Face as its new Managing Director. “The opportunity to work with a company like Easton Bell Sports has been incredible. I am very fortunate, not only to have their continued support, but also to have found a venture that aligns so well with their business philosophy for excellence and innovation.”
“Easton Bell Sports has had a great partnership with Chris over the last three years and we are pleased to continue that relationship. We believe in the synergy that can be created with the two companies.” Bernie Doering, SVP-Global Sales, Action Sports, Easton-Bell Sports.
Derek Wills, Race Face’s former Global Operations manager and most recently North American Sales and Business development Manager, has also returned as a junior partner. Wills graduated from Simon Fraser University for Business Management, working in the industrial distribution business for 3 years before joining Race Face in 2001.
Race Face Performance Products will remain based in Vancouver, close to the North Shore, the company’s original and ultimate testing ground for lightweight yet durable MTB products. Key employees will be rehired under the new business structure and production is expected to restart within a few weeks. Warranties will be honoured on all Race Face products.
Rob's back at the Warranty desk with nothing to do but play with his grips...
The component product line for 2012 is complete and ready to roll out, including the new Atlas FR Stealth line. Turbine 9 and 10 speed rings will ship almost immediately, as will Race Face’s carbon SIXC and NEXT cranks and bars. The company will continue to develop and refine their proprietary Optimized Carbon Technology in-house.
Atlas FR Stealth bars
Rocky Mountain’s Brett Tippie, a figurehead rider for Race Face since 1995, could barely contain the stoke: “Talk about a fairytale ending and wicked new beginning for these guys! How cool is it to be able to keep it in the homeland? And they’re bringing back the crew that made Race Face legit. As I’ve said before, Race Face is the cat’s ass! Stay tuned for more news - I’ve already heard the rumour of 83mm carbon cranks!”
Tippie attacks Yak Peak / / photo: Johnny Smoke
“This is fantastic news,” said Darren Mabbott, Managing Director of Silverfish, Race Face’s UK distributor. “I was always confident that a buyer would be found for Race Face, but to hear that Chris Tutton has bought Race Face is a huge boost to the brand. I have known Chris and worked with him for over 12 years. He is passionate about Race Face, focuses on quality and innovation, and brings a high level of professionalism to the table. Race Face will thrive under Chris’ control, and the future once again looks bright.”
Ever heard of something positive, like Phoenix?
dhabartride - since when the death of anyone is a good news? I mean, these ppl dancing on the streets... just gave me a sad confirmation: this country is full of stupid rednecks! - I believed it was just a stereotype
RaceFace - great to see you back!
BTW I live in Sweden, drive a nice eco-friendly Volvo and they seem to like me I'm a Nomad - learn something about that concept from Native Amerians, they know a lot that you don't
Let's be happy the Race Face is back! Go Race Face!!! I'll buy some Canadian brew today and drink it to celebrate their comeback. If I won't find anything in liquor store, I'll make some pancakes with maple syrup
BTW: anybody, any tips for Canadian beer? any brand names that might be available in Europe?
Unfortunately no Canadian beer in Sweden Maple syrup pancakes it shall be! if all fails I will use my RF seatpost to eat icecream! CELEBRATIOOOOON!
There is an English Version under the German one.
It's a wishful thinking, but if RF comes back big still manufacturing from BC that would be amazing! That would be such a hope booster, that we can do it on our own "western" ground! Big thumbs up Race Face!
Welcome back RACEFACE!
PS~ I understand the Phoenix story, but actually prefer the zombie idea for some strange reason.
I used to order Liken Carbon fiber products direct from the manufacturer in Quebec in the mid-90s, and then they signed with CL to become their "exclusive" distributor in Canada, and the dealer prices instantly jumped 20%. And they went from being a competitive alternative to american made carbon components to no alternative at all.
Race Face fans around the world
Glad to see they're back, but sad in a way; all the sales will go away now!
Where Craig Pollack is?
Who will pay the debits?
How many workers will have his job back?
THANK YOU CHRIS! THANK YOU CHRIS! THANK YOU CHRIS! THANK YOU CHRIS!
Supa sick. Means I WILL get my 63/78mm Atlas FR cranks!!!
We Love You!!
And the Darwin nomination for 2011 issss...
what an awesome PR stunt. ^^