If you look at our personal background it is not a big surprise that we teamed up with a common vision. This vision was the driving force behind our actions during the development of our company, of our brand, and first and foremost of our products. We feel confident that there are a lot more people out there who share our mentality and vision. Vision, mission, corporate identity, brand attitude, a wide playing field: these are all terms that can be described in very great detail in an about us section. We, however, keep it short and simple. “ZEAL” describes our individual attitude therefore it is a part of our identity and consequently our corporate identity and brand attitude compressed into one single word. Whenever we ride our bikes, we do it with great zeal to be faster, when we develop a product, we do it zealously to enhance the performance and whenever we get in touch with our customers, we work with special zeal to exceed their expectations.
It’s about you, the passionate cyclist for whom we aim to make high-end and high-quality bicycle components available at an affordable price
But finally, enjoying and celebrating the result is as crucial as the effort invested. We love to do this as a team but we are also eager to share our passion with a huge group of cyclists. So finally, the about us section is actually not only about us. It’s about you, the passionate cyclist for whom we aim to make high-end and high-quality bicycle components available at an affordable price. We are in direct contact with you because it is you using the products, telling us about your demands, giving us feedback, asking us for improvements, sharing your rides with us.
When you grow up in the Netherlands, you learn how to ride your bike almost at the same time as you start walking. Cycling is an integral part of our culture and as long as I can remember, I have enjoyed riding my bike. When I was a young kid, I always tried to make my bike faster so as to have an advantage over my friends. One of my tricks was to carefully set the tension of the chain of my single speed bike. In reality it didn’t make a difference, but psychologically the difference was huge!
At the age of 13 I was given my first mountain bike and the difference in speed and handling compared to the traditional Dutch commuter bikes amazed me. Living in the Netherlands, there were not a lot of opportunities for me to truly use the bike for the purpose for which it was designed, so I started riding it on the road (yes with knobby tires, not ideal). Knowing that I would be a lot faster if I were on a genuine road bike, I started saving money to buy my first road bike. One of my ways to earn money was delivering newspapers and you can probably guess how we did and still do this in the Netherlands!
Now, many bikes and bike kilometers later, locally or at an event like the Amstel Gold Race, la Marmotte, etc, I still enjoy riding one of my bikes.
As you can imagine, it wasn’t a big coincidence that I started to work in the bicycle industry. I visited the local specialist bike shop so many times per week that the owner finally asked me to come and work for him. Not long after I switched from working part-time in the shop to full-time, I got the opportunity to start working for SRAM Corporation in the European sales and marketing office in the Netherlands. After a great period in which SRAM acquired many great brands, I decided to join a small start-up wheel company in my home town Zwolle called FFWD Wheels. During the years to come, it was amazing for me to see what can be achieved with a small dedicated team and loyal distributors and dealers. Especially the satisfaction and appreciation of the end-consumers made us all very proud. Unfortunately, sometimes in life you must give up on something you love and after we sold the company in 2012, the feeling that I wasn’t done yet became even more intense….
And I still had that burning feeling inside me that I still hadn’t achieved everything that I wanted to in the bike industry…
When I was introduced to the people of Fallbrook International in 2013 and experienced their NuVinci continuous variable shifting technology, it was an easy decision to join that company as their director of sales for the bicycle component division. Focusing on a totally different segment of the bike industry was great, especially with that ground-breaking technology, but I started to notice that I wanted to be closer to the sportive/competitive mountain bike and road bike users again. And I still had that burning feeling inside me that I still hadn’t achieved everything that I wanted to in the bike industry…
So, here we are, with ZEAL, looking forward to meeting you!
More than 20 years ago, I was infected by the cycling virus and until today this passion is unabated. I clocked up the training kilometers and occasionally competed in a hobby race. At the beginning on my mountain bike and later also on my road bike. My eyes were glued to the television during the pro races in the 1990s, and with a magenta colored “T” on my chest, I did pilgrimages to France or I discovered the Cross-Country World cup course in Houffalize on foot.
I was infected by the cycling virus and until today this passion is unabated
Just for fun and as a way of earning a bit of extra pocket-money I founded a garage bike shop after school and it became clear to me that there was no better career pathway for me than to combine my future career with my passion for cycling. After completing my degree in business studies, I started working for Canyon Bicycles as a Marketing Manager and later as the Head of Marketing and Sales. For almost eight years I contributed to the transformation of the company from a low budget mail order supplier to a coveted high-end brand, which has firmly established itself on the pro racing scene winning stages at the Tour de France and a World Championship title.
In 2013 I left Canyon to discover a completely different part of the bike industry. As Marketing Director of NuVinci Cycling, a US company for continuous and automatic shifting transmissions, I focused less on the sportive and more on the mobility aspect of bicycles. E-Bikes and the combination of mechanical parts with smart IT technology were determining factors of my marketing work.
But of course, I still clung to the high-end equipment of the pro racers; I followed the big change of wheel sizes in the MTB market and the diversification of road bike categories. And of course, I road my bike whenever possible. Sometimes with a colleague who later became my business partner to found a new bike component brand named ZEAL.