Rex Trimnell, founder, owner and chief designer of Poole-based X-Lite, died on Friday aged 60. He suffered a brain haemorrhage after the sudden onset of acute leukaemia.
Rex founded X-Lite in 1991, inspired by son Alex’s purchase of a Klein MTB, to engineer a unique twin-crown aluminium fork with integrated stem and bar. His background was in motorcycle racing – during the 60s he built and raced his own bikes. He applied the knowledge he gained to bicycles, coming up with a wide range of bits.
It was bar ends that first made it big for X-Lite. Everyone wanted them in the early 90s and lots of British buyers preferred to buy them from a British company. The success of X-Lite’s bar ends, and later seatposts and stems, gave Rex the opportunity to work on developing suspension forks and frames. An association with Raleigh saw the Nottingham company’s pro racers riding X-Lite Ti frames and, on smoother courses, a later version of Rex’s original twin-crown rigid fork.
X-Lite now employs eleven people at its base in Poole. The successful cleaning product side of the business (where would we be without Muc-Off?) has caused a need to move imminently to bigger premises locally.
Rex Trimnell’s death was a huge shock. Every time we met Rex we were amazed by his passion for engineering, for the bike industry and for his company. X-Lite was and is a pioneer in the UK bike industry – things just wouldn’t have been the same without Rex and X-Lite.
Our deepest sympathy and condolences go to the Trimnell family. Rex is survived by his wife Marilyn and children Alex and Emma. Alex said: “It’s difficult to comprehend what’s happened. It’s all happened so quickly. There’s still a lot to fight for, lots to carry on for. We’ll be moving forward in his memory.”