When it came to the first mountain bike parts, the bottom bracket spindle was one of my first projects. I was breaking them with regularity so I worked on a design that moved the bearings farther outboard and used two bearings per side to support the spindle almost to the edge of where the taper started (spindles were tapered back then). I made the spindle larger diameter as well. I had a local machine shop make these for me out of titanium and I used them mostly for myself but also sold some to local shops in both Phoenix and the Chicago area.
I also built my first frame around this time. It was called the Sun Eagle Bicycle Works Talon and was featured in a 1988 issue of Mountain Bike Action article entitled: "Bikes of the Future." It was featured right alongside two Mantis models and the Nishiki Alien. For those who don't know, all three of those were all bikes designed by Pinkbike's own Richard Cunningham, so I was excited to be featured right alongside the best in the sport.
The next step was to try a new model at Kinesis USA (a Taiwanese owned company based in Portland at the time). With my previous experience, we did the same thing and started production in-house while working with Kinesis on the same model. This, combined with my previous learning experience, helped to make this a really successful project for us, and almost doubled the size of Titus that year. However, after the first couple of deliveries, Kinesis Taiwan chose to shut down Kinesis USA and we had the option of pulling the project back in-house or transferring the project to Taiwan. We transferred it to Taiwan and this was really when Taiwan became my second home. It was not an easy transition but it was an exciting one and it turned out to be great timing as this is when the sport was really shifting.