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Dave Southwell and Jon Wege were lifelong friends who grew up in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  After they finished school, they decided to go into business together.  Out of this dream, the Barracuda Bicycle Company was born.

Barracuda was registered in 1992 and was located at 463 Turner Dr. Suite 105, Durango, Colorado, 81301-3738.

One of the first things Dave and Jon did was to hire Tom Teesdale of TET Cycles to create the 4 original prototypes.  Among other things, Tom was responsible for the geometry, tubing choice and sizes.  They then went to see John Parker at Yeti, who was hired to continue with production.  Mountain Bike pioneers Chris Herting and Frank "the welder" Wadelton were both working for Yeti at the time and were largely responsible for these early Barracuda bikes.  They also built up the first bikes for the race team.

Once the business was well established, the manufacturing of frames was moved to Taiwan with final assembly being performed in Colorado.  Due to the race team breaking many of the factory frames that they were given, team-only frames were once again crafted by Chris Herting, who had left Yeti to start up 3D Racing.  Some Verlicchi frames were also used on the downhill and dual-slalom courses.

Around 1995, the business began to show signs of failure.  Before that year was out, Barracuda sold to Ross Bicycles of Farmingdale, New York.  Interestingly enough, Ross made a bike called the Barracuda in the 60's and 70's.

Many remember the "fire sale" that took place upon Barracuda closing its doors.  Frames that once fetched close to $1,000.00 were going for as low as $75.00.  The frames that couldn't be sold, were sawn through their top tubes and sent to the Metal Man Recycling company for scrap. 

Ross continued manufacturing many of the 1995 bikes with only subtle, cosmetic changes, but as the years went on, many changes to the product line resulted in bicycles that were almost nothing like the originals.  This, and a lack of promotion saw the final Barracudas rolling off the assembly line in the late 90's.

Today, there are bikes being produced by a company called Barracuda, but this is a European company that should not be confused with the Barracuda Bicycle Company of Durango, Colorado.

 

The sign above was merely part of the advertising campaign, but to some insiders, it speaks more as a warning of doing business with Barracuda.

 
 

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