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It All Started With A Bike...
People often ask me how I got into the business of making 4x4 parts... My answer is pretty easy; I bought a '73 landcruiser and tried to find some parts for the modifications I wanted. The problem was they simply were not made to the standards that I desired and the Customer Service was pitiful. It felt as if they were doing me a favor by overcharging me for products I knew I could make better, so I resurrected RuffStuff Specialties.
I know... resurrected RuffStuff, but from what? Well, In 1980 I had just gotten out of the army and was going to college at NAU in Flagstaff Arizona and in a small way mountain biking was just starting up. I had some experience with a torch and started Ruffstuff Specialties building Mountain Bike Framesets. I wasn't Tom Ritchey but Ruffstuff was in the first wave. We built 17 framesets over 2 years but I was still a student so I was essentially starving. I closed Ruffstuff after 2 years and then 2 years later the Stumpjumper came out and that was all she wrote! I was already a River Guide in the Grand Canyon and wasn't about to walk away from that so I didn't go back to building bike frames and didn't go back to starving.
When RuffStuff started building 4X4 Fabrication parts we were a wholesale only shop serving about 40 4X4 shops within 100 miles. I developed our product line directly from the input of those shops so we didn't start with hit or miss stuff. It was tried and tested long before RuffStuff ever opened for direct retail. Infact, I was fairly satisfied with a part time wholesale only business but things progressed so we took the next step. The 2 pivotal moments pushing change were that many of my wholesale companies I supplied had asked me to go retail for name recognition so they could better sell our parts. The other was my current job was moving to Chicago and I didn't much like the cold! This all happening at once tied it all together and it just made sense to open RuffStuff to the public.
As we grew we have taken great pains to stay true to our origins, we have never settled for "strong enough" and do not intend to ever take that route. We have never been afraid to try new ideas and we're always working to push to envelope. Lastly, we're always open to suggestions and input. If you don't see a product you'd be interested in buying, shoot us over an email. We're always happy to help!-Dan Fredrickson