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
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
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
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
Some Verlicchi frames were also used on the downhill and
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.
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.
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.
above was merely part of the advertising
campaign, but to some insiders, it speaks
more as a warning of doing business with