21 Apr 2017
WHAT MAKES FSA TICK?
Ever wondered what it takes to join the team making the world’s best components? We grabbed five minutes with Mark Vandermolen from FSA’s / Vision’s Innovation Department… and guess what, he’s driven and inspired by a love of cycling, just like the rest of us.
Q: Why did you decide to pursue a career in the cycling industry?
MV: I loved the freedom of cycling from a young age and that eventually led to excitement of racing. While racing and also working and a bike shop I had an opportunity to get into the industry at a junior level. For a racing cyclist it was almost a dream come true to come into the industry to learn and work on products I was using on a daily basis.
Q: What inspired you to get into product design?
MV: I got into product development because I loved cycling and bicycles. From racing, to bike shops, to the industry – and that eventually transitioned into wanting to find solutions for riders, making better parts and better bicycles to help improve the cycling experience.
Q: What drew you to FSA-Vision?
MV: It’s as simple as this: FSA truly is ‘Full Speed Ahead’ – we are always pushing ourselves and have a passion for product innovation.
Q: What is your favorite FSA-Vision innovation?
MV: There’s a lot to choose from! Let’s narrow it down to a combination of two items: the superb new K-Force WE system and the truly innovative Metron 5D handlebar.
Both of these developments are pushing the boundaries of innovation and, when paired together, really provide the ultimate cockpit for road cyclists.
Q: What materials do you like working with most?
MV: It definitely would be carbon fiber – it is both the most rewarding and the most challenging.
Using carbon has opened up so many possibilities for design, engineering and innovation. It’s allowed us to push our imagination and has opened up new product options that, years ago, were not even considered.
Q: What kind of riding inspires you?
MV: My background is road, CX and triathlon and I still get inspiration from all three of those disciplines.
It’s important to know what it’s like to ride, train and race with our products. That understanding and passion is always leading me towards finding improvements or solutions, both big and small.
Q: Quick, while the big boss isn’t here… what are you working on right now?
MV: Ah, I wish I could tell you some details, but not just yet! Let’s say that we are just scratching the surface on integration...
Q: How does it make you feel when your products help get great race wins?
MV: It’s extremely rewarding to see products we work on being ridden and raced to the limit at the highest levels and knowing that we helped those riders and teams achieve their goals.
But I would also say that it’s equally rewarding to when I see our products ‘out on the road’ being used by recreational cyclists and athletes. That’s always a nice feeling to see they have chosen FSA-Vision and we always smile quietly to ourselves when we see you guys going past.