Muddymoles: Mountain biking (MTB) in the Surrey Hills and Mole ValleyMuddymoles: Mountain biking (MTB) in the Surrey Hills and Mole Valley

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Is this the end of On-one?

Posted by DaveC | February 3, 2009 | 8 comments so far

With the surprise announcement that Brant Richards is leaving On-one there has to be a question mark as to where this leaves the brand. An announcement from Singletrack Magazine and on BikeRadar tell that Brant is moving to the the online retailer ChainReationCycles, leaving On-one standing alone with no designer. I for one can’t be sure if you can split the brand from the Brant. As far as I knew Brant was On-One.

So as there are 4 of these frames in my garage and at least another 7 spread around the other Moles I wonder whether this means we stay with On-one Inbreds or we end up riding CRC [insert cunning new brand name here], together with a selection of accessories. Certainly Brant has to do something different from the current range of Inbreds but hopefully not too different as they work so well.

I guess with the sales power of CRC behind him it means that a long mooted Full Susser could well be on the cards. However one has to think that the business model behind CRC may well mean that prices will go up, especially if they intend to sell through shops as well, as appears to be a stated aim.

I think I bought On-one because of the initial recommendation, followed by the value; the quality aspects of the frame and ride then made me stay, coupled with the continueing value. If Brant can recreate this then CRC could be onto a winner and if On-one find another quality designer then they may keep the business. Those are pretty big ifs.

Finally, who will be able to fill Brant’s unique design style and his even more unique style of customer interfacing? Time will tell, but we know that Jon Whyte is free…

What do others think, is this a good move and who can you think of to replace the possibly irreplaceable?

Filed under 2009, News in February 2009

DaveC

About the author

Dave's been riding seriously since about 1997 and is one of the founding Molefathers — along with Matt and Mark — that came up with the idea of a MTB website for Mole Valley riders.

He's had several different bikes but it's now mainly 29ers in Dave's stable, apart from an Orange 5.

Current Bikes: Orange 5, Salsa Spearfish and Kona Big Unit

There are 8 comments on ‘Is this the end of On-one?’

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  1. Lee says:

    Maybe if Cy over in the Cotic ‘shed’ ever got itchy feet he could move in, although you might end up with a brand called Con-One and I’m not sure that’s a seller!

    Maybe he’s looking at doing something for CRC’s sponsored team, although all their downhill boys are currently riding Intense. I guess we’ll wait and see.

  2. Matt says:

    I think the real loss to On-one is the fantastic guerilla marketing that Brant’s a master at. If you’ve heard of On-one, you’ve heard of Brant and his opinions on bike stuff.

    Design wise, they’re pared to the bone crowd pleasers, ticking all the right boxes – steel frame, tough, no-nonsense do it all bikes with spot on geometry.

    Thing is, geometry can be copied and features depend on your budget. So that’s not what’s unique about On-one. It’s the personality of the brand and as Dave gets spot on, one way or another, that’s Brant.

    Whether that personality will translate to a CRC backed outfit remains to be seen… Brant hasn’t exactly innovated like a Gary Fisher or John Tomac so his success owes a lot to the sticking–it–to–the–big–man image as much as the bikes.

    Brant = carefully specced bikes + customer service + attitude. With CRC, can he control customer service and keep the attitude? That just leaves carefully specced bikes so it’ll be interesting to see.

    Enjoyed Dave’s Jon Whyte to On-one suggestion, then there’s Cy Turner as Lee mentions. What about Mike at Dialled Bikes for a real nose-thumber!?

  3. Dave says:

    Blimey, Mike from Dialled… that really would be an unexpected move. Maybe the guy from Singular might fancy it, just to throw another name into the mix. Then again there’s always the Singletrackworld forum designers, they know everything!! ;o)

  4. tony says:

    There are some great suggestions. I agree that losing the “brant brand” could be a big negative. At CRC he could become like Merlin cycles bikes/frames. Great value, good design but without a clear brand.

    From a commercial point of view the On-one value comes from the direct-to-consumer sale cutting out the distribution mark-up. I wonder how much the loyal On-one customers will pay extra?

    I guess Brant is getting well paid to move – good luck to him.

  5. Colin says:

    Sorry to put the cat amongst the pigeons here, but whilst I am a MASSIVE fan of On-One frames, I am just praying he doesn’t take his ideas on what represent ‘customer service’ to CRC, who I’ve enjoyed dealing with up to now.

    Lets hope his remit is to stick to the design and branding of his new frames, then they’re onto a winner.

  6. Rob says:

    I can’t see the local bike shops selling his new frame range if the new brand is gonna be plastered all over the CRC website.

    I love my OnOne because it’s a good honest bike, well designed and great value, with a slight quirkyness about it.

    A full susser OnOne has been produced, but in small numbers – here’s one to look at!

    PS…the company “DialledOne” will NEVER exist in a million years!!

  7. Jez says:

    Our bikes will soon be a bit of MTB history and sought after by rich Japanese collectors. This time next year we’ll all be millionaires.

    Except Brant will flood the market with his ‘forgot about these at the back of the warehouse’ specials and corner the market as his last act before retiring to a bond villain cave.

    Maybe.

  8. mike61 says:

    Guys

    I hadn’t heard this until reading your site.

    There is a good chance that the fickle mtb world will covet the ‘original’ On-One frames (eg Turner Horst link). We could all be sitting on a proverbial goldmine with the old ‘that blue’ 456 and Lynsky stickered 456Ti likely to be most sought after.

    Best clean it, wrap in cotton wool, consign to the atic and wait for the prices to go up.

    On the other hand we could enjoy the bikes for what they are, well designed and great value frames.

    Can’t help but think about the goldmine (and Fiona Bruce’s a**e)….maybe I need a spare…. one to ride and one to keep pristine in the box with all the original labels.

    Good luck to Brant, I wouldn’t begrudge any success he has wherever he goes.

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