The End Of My Era

About 8 years ago now, I phoned up a mate; “So when are we going to start this bike company then?” What followed was about 7 1/2 years of highs and lows; bike sales mixed with borderline poverty, awesome products but difficult manufacturing… a cycle of stress and euphoria. I have to say that if it wasn’t for my son, BTR would easily be my proudest creation. Alongside Burf, I gave it everything I had for those 7 years, even when I was flying blind and had no real sense of how we should proceed. We were driven by sheer determination to achieve the satisfaction of building the best bikes we possibly could, for the best price we possibly could, and selling them to the best group of customers we could have imagined. BTR has come so far since its beginnings in a garden shed, but is still very much true to our original aspirations. It’s been truly epic so far, but my time here has come to an end.

Sadly, working on BTR just doesn’t make sense any more, for my personal circumstances; I’ve never been good at dividing my time between tasks, which just results in my brain constantly churning over the day-to-day challenges of running my own business, to the point of anxiety – even when I’m at home with my little family. Add to that the daily load of caring for a small human – some sleep deprivation – and I had a recipe for failure. Some people can simply power on through this stuff, and I’m so envious of their energy and ability, but I just can’t get there myself. I’ve soldiered on for a year and a half, but honestly the time has come where I just had to draw a line in the sand. I haven’t functioned well on my work for BTR for some time now, so I have to step away before I become baggage to the company. The last month or so has been spent teeing up frame builds for Burf to work his way through, organising files on the computer, ordering every part for every product which is currently on order, so that Burf has a flying start at running BTR on his own.

The good news is that he can and will continue to do it. Sure, email responses will be slower, and maybe after these bikes which are currently on order the build process will go a little slower… But now Burf can really focus BTR on one clear mission; building the world’s best bikes. I have no doubt at all that he will take everything we’ve built BTR to be, and focus harder on his goals for the company. My leaving will not be a nail in BTR’s coffin. Nor am I stepping off a sinking ship. BTR has plenty left in it with Burf at the helm, and I’m excited to see what he does.

For any existing or pending BTR customers, you can rest assured that support, warranty, and spares availability are unaffected. Everything BTR could do with me in the company, it can still do without me. Even if there’s something I’ve failed to hand over properly, I’m only a phone call away. No BTR customer will be left without a functioning bike…or Trail Tool, or Tough Rake…..

So this rare blog post is likely to be my last ever for BTR. As of Tuesday 23rd of July 2019, I’m no longer actively working on BTR. That’s the strangest thing for me to think or say. BTR has defined me for what feels like a lifetime and simultaneously only a few months. I can barely remember myself before BTR, and maybe I don’t really want to. It has made me who I am and put me where I am today… It just leaves me sat here at my computer with tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat remembering everything that went into our little bike company. I’m forever grateful to the hoards of family and friends, colleagues and customers and even random people who would message us just to voice their support, for their unfaltering belief in Burf and me. We couldn’t have done it without you, and look what we did!

Thank you all.

Tam Hamilton


15 thoughts on “The End Of My Era”

  1. Wow, only just read this and as much as I understand this is such a hard decision, I also get that it is probably the best. Nothing is worth it to miss seeing your kid grow up. It is magic and you just need to be part of every stage they go through. That said, BTR is your creation too and no one will ever think of BTR without you having been a massive part of it. I’ve been riding my BTR Ranger for well over a year now and it is so much fun. It is the bike I always wanted (for well over a decade) and I don’t see that change for another couple of decades. I also loved the conversations with you, making sure everything would be just right.

    Enjoy the time you will now have and live it to the fullest.

  2. Good luck Tam, no doubt a tough call to step away from such a great creation. Echoing what others have said in that I’m proud to be a BTR owner. Long live BTR and the legacy you and Burf have created.

  3. Cheers Tam, you created a brand like no other and I’m proud to own a BTR. I wish you and your family all the best in the future. I’m sure Burf will carry on BTR strong. All the best…

  4. Wow. That’s gotta be a super tough call. You’ve definitely defined the modern hard tail. I’ve been riding since 88 and my ranger is easily the best bike I’ve owned. Cheers Tam. Best of luck dude

  5. Wow I never saw that coming, good luck going forward Tam and I know Burf will deliver, the products are fantastic. Paul your the man I know you will succeed and Iam sure Tam wouldn’t mind doing the odd bit off design work for you. xxx

    • I love my Ranger, it’s a fantastic bike. You guys made a great team, I’m sure Burf will go on to continue both of your hard work from all these years.
      We are all part of the BTR family and we all wish you well in the future.

      You’ve always got a friend in the Lake District if you’re on a weekend away and need a riding buddy!

  6. Good luck Tam and crack on Burf you really do produce cracking bikes, good luck going forward to you both ski xxx

  7. Sad to hear this in a way, but huge respect on what you have achieved so far and on making what is clearly a tough decision. I sincerely wish you and BTR the best of luck in the future!

  8. All the best for the future Tam, I’m sure we’ll see you around dude!
    Good luck Burf, you’ll smash it mate and if there is anything myself at Lovelo or Ben can do just give us a shout!

  9. Good Luck in your next chapter. You’ve created a great brand and quality product, one you can be proud of and an achievement no-one and no amount of time can take away from you. Good luck to to Burf – he will no doubt continue to deliver and uphold the high standards that defines BTR.


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