Cycling Sports Group (CSG) – which includes Cannondale, GT and Mongoose – today announced the hiring of German engineer Peter Denk as full-time director of technology for the company’s research and development team.
Denk is best known for his decade-plus collaboration with Scott (where he and his Germany-based firm steered such key carbon projects as the Spark, Scale, CR1 and Addict, plus their associated CR1 and IMP construction technologies) that ended in late 2007.
The relationship has already starting bearing fruit. CSG actually began working with Denk back in June 2008 and the first product – the featherweight Cannondale Flash carbon hardtail – was launched 15 months later at this year’s Eurobike show.
The 16.56lb Cannondale Flash Ultimate carbon hardtail made its debut in Utah in June
According to CSG vice president of research and development Chris Peck, the addition of Denk is in keeping with the company’s overall goal of becoming the undisputed industry leader.
Though Denk brings with him a hefty load of intellectual property developed over the years, Peck says CSG are more interested in what’s to come, not what’s already been done.
“His composites knowledge is second-to-none in the industry both from a design perspective and in terms of manufacturing processes that he’s developed over the years,” Peck said.
“We didn’t decide to start working with Peter based on what he’s done in the past. What we’re really focusing on with Peter is new development going forward.
“In general, our goal is to be the number one bicycle brand in the world, which means that from a product and innovation perspective, we need to continue to come out with industry-leading product.
“We’re making a number of investments, whether it’s hiring Peter Denk, whether it’s money put into electronic projects like Simon, whether it’s expanding our industrial design team which we’ve done over the last few months – all those steps are really focused on developing Cannondale as a brand in addition to Schwinn, GT and Mongoose.”
Peck said Denk would work across all four brands, but would be focused primarily on CSG’s more performance-oriented Cannondale and GT labels, and on the road and mountain bike categories, as opposed to the recreational and urban divisions.
For now, Denk and his Denk Engineering GmbH colleague – who is also now a full-time employee of CSG – will both remain in Germany.
“We’re still working out those details but [Peter will] most likely [stay in Germany],” said Peck. “One of the reasons for that is that we really value his market knowledge and feedback that he gets from Europe. He really has a good sense of the market and trends, and a lot of that is gained from contacts and events he goes to in Europe and we’re pretty happy to maintain that.”
Peck was unwilling to divulge any information on upcoming products but suggested that the development timetable is moving quickly and consumers should begin seeing some changes fairly soon.
“I can’t really give you any details at this point but I can tell you that even before this announcement, Peter’s been working with us on a number of projects that will come out for model year 2011,” he said.
“So it’s not like we’re just starting today and saying, ‘Hey, Peter, we have some new projects that we want your feedback on’. Although we’re making the announcement today, we’ve already started working on some projects that will be out next year.”
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