I’ve been riding on BLKTEC‘s wheelsets and components (stem, bars and seatpost) for almost a year now and though they do sponsor me (I want to make that clear as I can) I really only have good things to say about them. Well he would say that, you may be thinking but also, I don’t choose to partner with companies making bad products.
I will be putting up a review on the C5 wheelset soon, with the all carbon C1 set review to follow.
It’s not just me that thinks they’re good either. One product buyer for a big Asian distributor described the BLKTEC stuff as ‘the best products at the Taichung Bike Week’ last year. The Taichung Bike Week, if you don’t know, is a yearly show that brings together project managers with manufacturers that is closed to the public, and might be just about the most important bike ‘show’ all year.
I caught up with Greg Grobler recently to ask him about the company of which he is the CEO. Greg, 29 and from South Africa originally, could well be at the helm of one of the fastest growing bike companies very soon.
Lee Rodgers: Is there room in the bike world for yet another components manufacturer?
Greg Grobler: I believe there is, especially when you are developing products that are unique to the industry. People love to see new and exciting things and that’s what we have.
LR: For instance?
GG: The C1 wheelset perhaps is the most eyecatching, and then there is also the M1 stem. The M1 has internal routing and a super high strength to weight ratio.
LR: How did the company get started and who are the people behind it?
GG: The original idea of creating the brand started in the UK. Since Taiwan is known worldwide for being the best in manufacturing carbon products we moved it over to Taiwan. Set up shop here and haven’t looked back.
LR: What is the brand philosophy and how it is reflected in the products?
GG: It’s about quality, durability and craftsmanship. We take our products very seriously and do everything we can to make them the best quality possible. When you pick up a BLKTEC product you will immediately notice that.
LR: What are your main markets?
GG: The USA and Asia, so far.
LR: What do you intend people to experience who ride BLKTEC products?
GG: When people use our products I want them to experience the quality and bring out confidence in their riding through using our products. We’re not messing around here, there’s no point doing anything at 90%. Our development team is continually looking to create the best product. I ride too and I want the best stuff out there on people’s bikes. If that means going against the grain to get it done, then so be it. We’re here to stay.
BLKTEC components and wheelsets really do rock, and you don’t just have to take my (sponsored) word for it. here is a report on the BLKTEC offerings that were on display at EuroBike on Bike.Rumor.com – as you can see, they were impressed.
click to image below to access the article, and click here to go to the BRAND NEW BLKTEC Cycles website.
last Saturday was the 3rd round in the Taiwan Club Series Championships, a season-long competition run by the hard-working Taiwan Cyclist Federation that I’ve yet to be able to completely participate in due to overseas racing commitments. there isn’t much racing in Taiwan so it’s a shame that i usually miss the good parts of it, but it’s always fun to do what i can and to catch up with the local guys.
possibly the longest team name in the history of cycling and there’s only one man on the team…
disaffected with most of my experiences on cycling teams i had an idea towards the end of last season – why don’t I race independently, forget racing UCI events, focus on the regional and international elite amateur road races on offer these days and start doing more international MTB events?
i approached the brands that i’ve been connected with for several years and some new ones too and wrangled both product and financial support from some and bingo, i’m a one man band now roaming the planet looking for finish lines.
supporting me through 2014 will be:
Lezyne with tools and accessories
BlkTec with wheels, stem, handlebars, seatpost and tires
720Armour with eyewear
and last but not least, Lapierre with both road & MTB frames and groupsets.
so far the calendar has only two confirmed races, the Craft Bike TransAlp (MTB) and the GENCO Mongolia Bike Challenge, though also in the sights are the TransPyr (MTB) the Crocodile Trophy in Australia (MTB), and Leadville (MTB).
on the road i’ll be racing in Taiwan in the regional series, doing the Singapore nationals again with the Lapierre Asia Cycling Team, possibly the Tour of Friendship again in Thailand, and the Tour of Bintan (again with Lapierre Asia).
i’d like to say a huge thank you to all my sponsors and to the friends and family that have supported me and continue to do so.
this year is, i hope, gonna be a corker!