Bike trade website www.bikebiz.co.uk has just revealed Reynolds Cycle Technology as an unlikely casualty of the Sept 11th atrocities.
The world-renowned Midlands company has full order books for its range of steel, aluminium and titanium tubesets but has fallen foul of US insurance greed. The claims following the Sept 11th attacks caused crippling losses amongst the US insurance companies and now they are raising premiums for everyone. As a result, Reynolds cannot find an insurer to cover their critical – but litigation happy – US market at a price they can afford.
The bitterest pill of this whole affair is that Reynolds have never had to make a claim on their insurance policy despite a 105 year tube tweaking history. In fact order books were up 50% last year, mainly due to take up of their excellent new 853 steel tubeset, and they were also putting their final touches to their X-100 lithium/aluminium alloy kit.
At the moment Reynolds have laid off 16 out of 24 staff, and are desperately looking for insurance cover or a fast cash injection to avoid their own undeserved re-run of the “Full Monty”. Hopefully someone like SRAM might not have finished with their buy out chequebook just yet!
This news also raises the ugly question of how much our naturally accident prone sport is going to be affected by the increasing rise of ambulance chasing compensation claim lawyers.