BREAKING THE MOLD
Chris Meertens was already on a trajectory toward bringing carbon engineering back to the US when HIA Velo came knocking. He transitioned into Specialized in 2013 after working in a carbon fabrication shop during and after college. With years of carbon experience in the bank, Chris now sees a unique opportunity to implement more modern, aerospace technology into carbon bike design and manufacturing. He also believes there’s a better approach to building carbon bikes, especially given they’ve only been around 20 years, and there’s really only one train of thought in the industry thus far.
As one of two composite engineers for HIA Velo, Chris strongly relates to the company’s core value of being connected to the bike during the whole process of fabrication. In fact, Chris is remodeling carbon manufacturing as we speak. Creating the most advanced products in the industry means utilizing the most advanced tools. Using leading-edge software to support this process allows the team to move swiftly through product analysis to manufacturing, enabling “design with the end product in mind, not for a specified manufacturing process.” This translates to better use of resources and time. Instead of multiple people on task “crash testing” bikes over and over again, Chris can eliminate multiple product test runs into one lean digital revision, virtually streamlining operations before the design model reaches the assembly floor.
The Chris Meertens/Sam Pickman dynamic duo is years in the making. They are now partnered up with HIA Velo to do great things, but Chris is most excited about the company’s commitment to no compromises. When asked what he hopes you’ll value most about bikes MADE HERE BUILT HERE, Chris says, “I hope you can see the quality and the transparency around the way it was made – the fact that it was well-engineered and designed. There are no gimmicks. Just great product.”