Hmmmm........a hell of an interesting list is emerging...
And it makes me think ... what’s the story?
My post about 1930s prices versus today’s has a clue I think. The high end market is relatively small. Bit like skiing, which seems like a big sport but only 2 per cent of the population actually do. Many companies with good product have gone, due to inability to innovate at the same time as produce. And those that have grown sometimes have become stale, sometimes not - think Trek and Santa Cruz, both companies which do continue to produce very, very good bikes. Stanton, Transition and Cotic are great since they have managed to innovate and grow, but still with a rapier-like focus on performance. There are some stunning bikes around today and some very interesting tiny, niche producers. I bought a Stanton Ti Switch9er last year - and although it was 2,000 gbp (gulp) - that’s not far off the real price of the Merlins and Marins and Litespeeds of the early 90s. But grief it’s light years ahead in performance. Far faster and more nimble than anything I have ever ridden, and lighter than a very light thing.
The reason these companies still exist is that they are innovating as fast as they are producing - COTIC is just on it the whole time - and the companies which disappeared seemed to have to focus on either production or innovation and so they went. Some backed the wrong horses (URT...) some thought that their bikes would be good forever.
I wonder what the effect of Lockdown will be? People didn’t wake up and think ‘ah I need a COTIC to go to the shops on....’ but there will have been some who have been pulled back to cycling or started on low end in Lockdown and have now been inspired to upgrade...I wonder how many?