By 2002, it became clear that the company had over-expanded. The BMX business was shrinking when the company’s plans called for continued growth. The entire bicycle industry suffered in the recession. Waterford responded by consolidating back into the original building and then later selling it off. It also revamped its product lines to incorporate its TIG-welding virtuousity.
This became particularly important with the introduction of True Temper’s S3 technology tubeset. S3 is made with the same air hardening alloy used in OX Platinum. S3 stretched the limits through special design and heat treating. At the same time, Reynolds 531 and 753 were both fading away, as the classic moly-manganese alloys were no longer readily used. The experience making Gunnar demonstrated the performance of TIG-welded air hardening steels for more economical designs. Marc Muller developed an enhanced version of this tubeset called OS2, which was introduced in 2003, creating these model levels:
- 14-Series – OS-2 Technology
- 22-Series Lug Technology
- 33-Series S3 technology
It was during this period that Waterford went to a full made-to-measure format. It began to develop manufacturing, ordering and production systems to support this program.
To go along with this, Waterford introduced the Fitmaster sizing machine and partnered up with Fit Kit Systems to provide training, protocols and tools to improve bike fitting.
The BMX business continued to decline through the decade, and Waterford stopped making them in 2007.