Before mountain biking dominated the off-road cycling radar a young Chris Cocalis was constantly snapping BMX bottom brackets. Feeling a deficit of quality bikes and components to feed his passion, Chris designed his first bicycle parts. Patenting his bottom bracket design under the logo “Snake Cycles,” the seeds of the future Pivot Cycles were planted when Chris was a freshman accounting major at Arizona State University.
“Live it like it’s the only thing you want to do.” - Chris Cocalis (founder)
“I wake up in the morning wanting to always build a better bike." - Chris Cocalis
His drive to innovate led Cocalis from that first patent to founding Titus Cycles in 1989, officially incorporating his first bicycle manufacturing company one year later.
Full suspension bikes were pushing convention, and so was Titus. In 1991 they released their first full suspension mountain bike among a thin herd. These ancestors of the Pivot Cycles product line would lay the groundwork of our suspension science.Suspension ScienceSuspension Science
“Chris was one of the few guys who made his own parts. I did whatever I could to get bike parts from him.” - Bill Kibler
In 1992, Cocalis met master machinist and early mountain biking aficionado, Bill Kibler. Bill built Titus’ prototypes after hours in Phoenix’s premier aerospace CNC shop, in exchange for new bikes. Today Bill Kibler still leads prototype production, as the head of Pivot Cycles’ in-house research and development.
By 2001 Titus’ sights had been set squarely on new composite technology.
Through partner relationships, R&D consultant Kevin Tisue was asked to collaborate with Cocalis on development of a carbon bicycle components product line. The prospect of building carbon bicycles excited them both. Throughout the evolution of Titus’ ownership, Chris and Kevin followed the same path. Their first carbon components together were the prologue to our Pivot Cycles carbon story.
“Whatever you want to do next, let’s do it.” - Kevin Tisue
Cocalis ultimately parted ways with Titus, with Kevin following him in his departure. They filled the void left by Titus with perfecting the modern fork-up and bike rack engineering designs. Cocalis briefly entertained a burgers and frozen custard fast food franchise, as well as a motorcycle parts company. It was an emotional time, and he stayed close to Kibler and Tisue.
As the Titus departure healed, Cocalis and Tisue started talking frames and suspensions. They identified issues to tackle and turned their creativity towards how they could improve current industry standards. With the wholehearted support of longtime collaborators, and a rejuvenated passion for bicycle innovation, Chris Cocalis founded Pivot Cycles in 2007. The logo depicting the mythological firebird tells the tale of the company’s phoenix process: a new, more powerful vision rose from the ashes.