Monday, 1 June 2009

BARRACUDA by MARK



Many many many years back i had a bike buddy , i guess we are now talking 93/94 or so, who was riding a BARRACUDA.
Unfortunately he does not have the bike anymore because he had to leave it behind in order to save his life, he went biking on it's own in a very hot area, got lost, did not have any water left,...long story short,it's gone.
When I was riding along with him here in the Netherlands I was amazed by the bike handling and the build quality.
You do not see that many of them either.

A few months back I came in contact with Mark from Toronto Canada, and he is a big fan of BARRACUDA bikes.
He also has a fan based internet site , you should check it out, it is great, and if you have some info/pictures about the BARRACUDA brand you should drop him a line, he would love that.





I asked Mark why BARRACUDA is so special for him and this is his story:

My fascination began like most people who are back into the Retro MTB hobby. I was in my late teens back in the early 90's, and loved the sport. Unfortunately, since I was a kid, just then, I didn't have a whole lot of money. I frequented a few bike shops in my town, but they were mostly influenced by Roadies.

After a year or two, a new shop opened up. This was something quite different. They had the racks of bikes, but they also had some old livingroom furniture in the front, and tons of MTB magazines lying around. It was like the fusion between a Starbucks and a bike shop!

They also carried a new bike I had only seen in the magazines: Barracuda. I looked around and my eyes fell upon the Dos Equis XX Team bike. I couldn't take my eyes off of it. A sales rep asked me if I needed any info on it, and I simply asked for 15 minutes on the bike. They said "Take your time, have it back in 30 mins). Luckily for me, there are trails right near the shop!

I was sold on the bike but could only manage to scrape together $600. I planned on using the frame with some second hand bits I had lying around. So I purchased the frame and off I went. I couldn't believe all the stares and double takes I got on the walk home with this frame.

Now, right around this time I lost my job, and with a girlfriend, most of my money went into dating. I ended up taking the frame back to the shop and told them not to sell it as I would be back shortly to reclaim it. Unbeknownst to me, the shop folded up. The internet wasn't much back then and I had no other Barracuda resources in town. The dream died and the bike went with it.

Fast forward a few years, and the internet was a bit better. Ebay had taken off and I managed to find a 97 Dos Equis XX Team bike at auction. I won it for a few hundred dollars and was stoked, since it was NOS. It wasn't the same frame as what I had in 95, but it was close. It's been a good bike to me.

Not long ago, I'd say within the past year or so, I purchased a nice little application called Craig's Pal. This thing scours all of Craig's List for whatever searches you want to save. Of course, I put in a few Barracuda strings and have since come up lucky a few times now. I have in my posession once again a cherry 95 Dos Equis XX Team bike, but I've also managed to find a mint 94
A2X and even a custom built, professional Team Only frame, never offerred for public sale.



As with most out on the Retro MTB forums, this has become quite a hobby. We are now fortunate enough to have the money we wished we had when we were younger, and the sport and the bikes help us to hold onto our youth. Me? I'm not building wall art or trophies. All of my bikes will be ridden daily, and will see plenty of mud and dirt, as they were meant to.

Now, my web development background usually plays a part in my hobbies. I found it so difficult in obtaining information about Barracuda, I decided to put an end to it and create my own site. (http://www.barracudabicycles.com/)

I managed to track down former Pro riders, a Manager and I even spoke to some frame builders who were contracted to build up the team bikes. All had similar things to say in that Barracuda was EXTREMELY poorly run, and that when it folded, a lot of bills and debts went unpaid. Because of this, most people in the know, don't like to hear the word Barracuda.


I had no idea that it was that bad, or that (Barracuda owners) Jonathan Wege and Dave Southwell made so many enemies. It was hard for me to get information, as the people I spoke with often thought at first that I was glorifying them or the company. I had to let them know up front that it was the bikes I loved and that I simply wanted to document what happened. I kind of became an investigative journalist!

I'm pretty comfortable with the info I've collected so far, and actually stumble upon some more info now and then, as people find their way to the site. I also get a lot of kudos for creating it, as people from the USA, Canada, England, Australia, Germany and even small places like Finland and Holland still ride these bikes and love them.


so if you want to find out more about the BARRACUDA brand : visit his site or join the BARRACUDA forum and spread the word..

Mark: Thanks for your input dude!
Mark's internet site : http://www.barracudabicycles.com

cheers

Bas



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30 comments:

  1. Hey Bas,
    I remember those bikes, My local shop carried them for a while.. I also still have one of the Manitou EFC forks like pictured on Marks bike. It was called "EXTRA FUC**** COOL" Pretty funny huh..


    Aaron

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Aaron,

    i got the clip from Aiden, so funny!

    Bas

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  3. robterwindt@live.nl9 November 2009 17:04

    Hey Bas,

    I now two things of this bike.

    1 If got one :-)
    2 there are only 3 in the netherlands.

    greetings Rob (netherlands)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi Rob,

    Nice!
    What type do you have?
    Please send me a picture: basads@gmail.com

    Bas

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  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  6. Hey Bas,
    Your blog brought back memories. I was the Marketing Director at Dos Equis when Barracuda was born... I sponsored the first Barracuda Pro MTB Team. I still have an actual 94 Team XX pro bike with old school XTR. I also have some old Barracuda pictures (of the team & bus) and even more stories. I can probably add it a bit of additional history to your site. I tried to visit the website but can't get to it... Is it still up and running? Let me know -

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hi Joe,

    unfortunately i am havin' some problems with the site provider, he placed the site on a different server and since then it is not working ,..

    Please be so kind to email me on: basads@gmail.com

    would love to hear more form you and see the historical pictures

    Bas

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  8. I was a member on Mark's Barracuda website, and like the previous post, cannot find it anymore. I have a '95 aluminum Barracuda which sparked my interest in the brand. If anyone finds out when the website is restored, could they please post it here.
    Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hi

    I did not notice myself that the site is offline.
    I have checked his last visit on retrobike, that way 8 months ago,..i hope all is well

    Bas

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  10. I've got a cuda and love it. It's a 'Cuda COMP'. Picked it up new at a local bike shop. I have raced it, (still do race it) trained on it and pounded it and it still won't die. I recently put a new fork on it and it rides like a new dream. Can't really call it a bike - it's a Cuda!
    I think your site has been taken down, ... can't open it. Pity, I wanted to see what drove the company to destruction.
    The Cuda can't be beat for it's dependability and craftsmanship.
    I hope you can fix the problem with your site soon.
    Thanks
    Cuda Guy

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  11. thanks !,

    working on the site but so much to do , so little time ;)

    ReplyDelete
  12. Great info ! I have a Barracuda "Cuda Comp" in purple and brushed that has been hanging on my wall in the garage since 1996, I been thinking about building it up again.. This may have inspired me :o)

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  13. Great info ! I have a Barracuda Cuda Comp that has been hanging in my garage since 96, now I've been inspired to build it up again. Thanks !

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  14. And? ;) did you build it up again?

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  15. Hey all,

    Mark here, I've had a horrible time with the website, the server up and died and took all the files with it. If anyone has anything stored in cache in your web browser, please do me a favor and email anything you have to admin@digitalkreation.com - I'd appreciate it!

    Yep, the site will be back, I'm hoping I don't have to re-create it from scratch!!

    Mark

    ReplyDelete
  16. I posted a few 1993/94 Barracuda pics on my RetroBike gallery album. Original XX Team bus and a few of my projects (in progress). I think this link will get you there: http://www.retrobike.co.uk/forum/gallery2.php?g2_itemId=71112
    -Hergules

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  17. Hi Marc,

    good to hear that you are back.
    I will check if i have anything stored on my comp.

    cheers

    Bas

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  18. Hey
    Any opinions on the Barracuda A2Fast? I just acquired one and was wondering whether anyone had any previous experience with that model (I think it was only made in 1995). It seems to be a somewhat downscale full suspension frame as compared to the A2FX. - Joe

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  19. I just built a 96 Cuda comp in purple and brushed. Very aggressive frame that responds well to my power output. I had to remove the hot pink and blue Miami-Vice colored stickers though. It is a very solid bike that climbs well, descends well, corners good, and takes air very well. I'm kinda' stoked on this old beast. Nor-Cal baby!!

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  20. Great info. I bought my 1995 Team XX brand new in '95 for $650.00. I used to ride with the Bike Shop Manager and their team. He gave it to me for cost. I still pound the heck out of it and the frame keeps on ticking. New front fork, rear derailleur, updated brakes (it was a challenge to convert), panaracer red sidewall fire XC pro tires, clipless. The rest is original and I will not even think of getting a new bike. This hardtail is smooth as silk and single tracks incredibly.
    Sorry to find out that the Company had a bad reputation. Would love to post pictures.

    ReplyDelete
  21. I was trying to find info on my a2m barracuda I bought in bend, Oregon 2000 for 100 bucks. I love the bike, never knew much about it until today. The serial number is am3110098 if anyone can let me know anything else. I think maybe 94-95. Thanks for the info. Maybe the only one in Alaska!!!

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  22. trying to find info on my a2m barracuda. serial number am3110098.

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  23. Regarding the A2M, if it's a 1995, here's a link to the catalog on RetroBike.

    http://www.retrobike.co.uk/forum/files/Barracuda95.pdf

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  24. I have an original Barracuda Team Dos XX that I purchased new in the mid-90s and have ridden constantly since then. It's still completely stock, except for the tires. I took it into the shop for some adjustments and some new tires and got a call this afternoon from the shop telling me they found a significant crack in the frame in the neck. They say it can not be repaired. I am heartsick, as I love this bike and don't want to give it up. Anyone have any suggestions? Can the fram be welded or otherwise fixed, or is there somewhere I can get the frame replaced with an original one? My email is david@conserveturtles.org (yes, I work for a turtle conservation group). Name is David Godfrey.

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  25. hi david,

    sorry to hear that there is a crack in the frame
    i think all frames can be fixed but if it is commercially interesting to do depends on the damage.
    I would personally fix it if it was a bike close to my heart but i am a sucker for that .
    logically it needs a respray after the welding which could make it even more expensive.
    Looking for a same bike in good condition could be a good option

    Bas

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  26. I live in Durango, CO and just bought a Barracuda "Cuda Comp" in purple and brushed silver that must have been sitting in a garage for many years as it is in great shape. A buddy had an old pair of forks that I used to replace the shot Manitou's. Gotta love Durango! Anyway it's out of storage and out on the trails again!

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  27. Hi all,

    The Barracuda website is back!

    Please stop by and register for the forums. Any and all information you can publish is great, even if its just your bike's serial number(s).

    Hopefully we can get the site back to its former glory.

    Mark

    http://www.barracudabicycles.com

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  28. i've got a dos equis barracuda purchased in the summer of '95. it's in great shape. haven't changed a thing on it.

    funny how dos equis is now popular with those commercials.

    you can shoot me an email if you want marc.prosperi@gmail.com

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  29. Used a little post divorce guilt on my father to have him buy me a A2r in 1993. At the time i knew it felt better than all the other higher end treks etc. But i didn"t understand why. It wasn"t until i was riding the trails up in Plattsburgh NY when some more experienced riders would say "something like nice yeti". Stupidly i sold it for a hundred bucks to buy a K2 (which was also post buyout) I would pay almost any amount to get that bike back.
    I wonder why Jamis or some other company doesn"t buy the rights to the brand?

    ReplyDelete