How many of you have allowed your perfectly brewed coffee to get cold because you’re too busy scratching out ideas on the back of a napkin?
Or jumped out of a cozy bed at dark-thirty to hastily bang out some notes on the laptop before they disappear and your mind reminds you to buy new slippers instead of trying to make history?
Some of the world’s most respected innovators and their companies started out from some dream or crazy notion along the lines of “we’ve done this before, we can do this again; we can start it from absolutely nothing, and we can try to do it better.” Beethoven, Picasso, Einstein, Ford, Jobs, Branson – the honor roll is practically endless.
Knight’s evolution is not that dissimilar…albeit we wouldn’t be so pompous as to put ourselves up there with such creative geniuses this early in our history. That said, the Knight family and our products were indeed started on the back of a napkin – in a local coffee shop by the Bend/Redmond airport – as two industry mates grabbed a latte before Beverly’s flight back to her ‘work home’ in Melbourne, Australia.
The manufacturing process
A good manufacturing partner – which is not such an easy process. This partner had to check all of the boxes too in providing a surgical environment for state of the art, next generation manufacturing; the ability to pass every international safety standards test known to man, pass all of the race-safety testing governed by the UCI and – perhaps just as important – share the same goals, have the same worldview, and be on exactly the same page as Knight’s founders, all of the time, and in every single application. We were asking for this partner to walk, talk, think, sleep, eat and drink Knight and be an extension of the company in every way.
The team knew the way our wheels were designed required a manufacturing partner who could deliver a process better than those currently used in wheel manufacturing today. They also knew that many of the well-known performance brands’ carbon bicycle frame manufacturing was a significant step-up from currently adopted composite wheel and parts manufacturing.
Beverly turned to her old boss and long-time mentor in Bill Duehring, President and CEO of Felt Bicycles and, understanding Knight’s lofty goals to set a new global standard and make the fastest, safest wheels on the planet; Bill introduced the team to one of the best carbon manufacturing facilities in the world – a factory already highly skilled in making some of the world’s fastest, safest bicycle frames…and who probably had a hand in making the very bicycle frame sitting in your garage today.
Brochure and Datasheet
Download the brochure (PDF file – 1.3mb)
Download the datasheet (PDF file – 287kb)
The people behind Knight
Jim started his composites career with Cobra Golf and later moved into the sport he loved to become the original founder and owner of Reynolds Composites in southern California. Despite being told by industry leaders that the carbon fork market was crowded and questioned the viability of carbon steerer, he and his partner, Mike Lopez, begged to differ and this resulted in the Reynolds Ouzo Pro and Ouzo Comp forks being spec’d on OEM bicycle brands worldwide. Following the sale of Reynolds, Jim later held composites operations management roles in the US bicycle industry, where he shared a friendship with Lucas for over 15 years.
Beverly enjoyed a career with Felt Bicycles in southern California during its formative years and was instrumental in putting the brand on the map not least by taking them to their first Tour de France with Jonathan Vaughters’ then TIAA Cref – Slipstream team. Working later with ENVE Composites, she identified a need for an expert aerodynamicist to enhance ENVE’s talented composites engineering team, and so brought British Formula One motorsports R and D to the wheel industry by conceiving and managing the Smart ENVE Series partnership.
Rounding up the threesome is Canadian-born Kevin Quan, with a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Toronto. While employed at Cervelo, he designed the iconic P3C and SLC. Kevin Quan Studios opened in 2007 and assembled a multi-disciplinary team of engineers and industrial designers with a focus on the development of aerodynamically and mechanically superior bicycle frames for global brand customers such as Accell Group, BH, Parlee, and Neil Pryde.
And so, with all the pieces in place; what could possibly add to the virtue of mind-blowing Research and Design headed up by three fanatical industry old-timers?