Canadian precision manufacturing firm North Arc Precision acquired Bend, Ore.’s Project 321, the company announced on its website today. Project 321’s assets will now exist under the umbrella of a newly formed stand-alone entity called Project 321 Inc. Those include the rig it built its reputation on: the G2 Hub, a hub with magnetically-actuated pawls.
The company will relocate its operational base from Bend to a 42,000-square-foot facility in Mississauga, Ontario. The move will allow Project 321 to scale up its operations considerably, the company said in a press release.
“The JLSO team is pleased to see our designs joining the North Arc family of companies. We will continue to collaborate on Project 321 to further grow and expand the business footprint,” said Jake Liles, President, JLSO, Inc. (the former parent company of Project 321). “Our companies are well aligned in that we both focus on customer service, innovative products, manufacturing excellence, and being good stewards of the environment.”
The announcement included this exciting tidbit — the G2 hub is being phased out, and a new hub is on the way.
“…a brand new G3 hub, which has some common components with the Stan’s MPulse hub, is in the final stages of testing and its official release date will be announced this quarter. Project 321 will continue to support G2 customers with warranty and service needs,” said Project 321 in a statement.
A meeting of minds (and companies)
Liles initially founded Project 321 in Fresno, Calif. to produce motorcycle gas caps. In 2011, it began manufacturing hubs by sourcing parts from Industry Nine.
Liles and his partner Sam Ottemoeller launched the G2 hub in 2017, and from there, the brand grew quickly. The move from Fresno to Bend soon followed.
Project 321 explained the origins of the recent acquisition via a statement on its website.
Liles and Ottemoeller started a family as the global demand for cycling components grew, the company said. Increasing demands made the couple consider transitioning away from Project 321. That was when Liles met Bryden Richardson, the CEO of North Arc Capital.
At the time, the firm was exploring the possibility of designing and manufacturing bicycle hubs.
“[B]oth had exactly what the other was looking for,” Project 321 said. “Jake had a strong brand and a product known for quality and reliability. Bryden and his team had experience scaling businesses in precision manufacturing.”
North Arc Precision’s fields of in-house expertise include Wire EDM fabrication, CNC machining, and complex assembly processes, Project 321 said. With those capabilities, it “has the capacity and expertise meet Project 321’s growing manufacturing needs on day one.”
North Arc said the acquisition dovetails equally well with its goals.
“The reputation of the Project 321 brand, combined with the recently announced Stan’s MPulse hub supply deal, make Project 321 an ideal platform to enter the cycling industry,” Richardson said. “We are extremely fortunate to be able to learn from Project 321’s years of experience.”
BikeRumor wishes Jake and Sam the best of luck as they move into this new phase of their life. And we’re anxiously awaiting the release of that G3 Hub!