BEND, Ore. (BRAIN) — Many consumers and even bike retailers may not have heard of the Project321 brand before last week. But the Bend, Oregon-based component maker got a shot of name recognition when Crankbrothers announced at the start of October that its new Synthesis line of front- and rear-tuned carbon wheels wheels would include Project321 hub internals.
The collaboration was an unexpected one for Project321 co-owner and product designer Jake Liles. Up to that point, his company, which also makes automotive accessories, had been focused only on aftermarket hubs, hub parts, Lefty fork adapters and custom wheels for the bike market.
Founded in Fresno, California, Project321 has its roots in the moto/ATV market. Around 2007, Liles wanted to put a Cannondale Lefty fork on his Giant mountain bike. “Cannondale has its own headtube, so so I made this adapter. Then I made another five or 10 and posted them on MTBR,” Liles said.
He sold those adapters direct to consumers, “then the calls kept coming in on that.”
Liles soon expanded to Lefty hubs and started opening dealers sales. Then he found that those Lefty hub customers wanted matching rear hubs, which he produced using Industry Nine drivers. Traditional …read more