The ‘Five minutes with’ series presents a company with five short, sharp and to-the-point questions about who they are and what they do. This week we’re joined Stuart lambert of Crosshead bikes.
Can you tell us the history of the company?
In my early career I worked in London and Milan as a product design freelancer and consultant and have been an active cyclist from my early twenties. I joined a family business in 2001 and became its managing director soon afterwards, alongside a mid career MBA via Greenwich School of Managent. In 2008 I purchased my first folding bicycle during a holiday in Bruge and thinking I could make some improvements and Crosshead was founded in 2009.
Once a strong concept emerged from my research and development, I was joined by William jackson a design engineer and together the bike evolved into a 3D CAD concept which was later prototyped by the Engineering department of Greenwich University. Will and I then worked with JNDC an engineering company in Kingston upon Thames, on a second and third prototype.
Crosshead moved into its factory in Deal, Kent during 2013 and I worked on a fourth and finally fith pre-production prototype with Alex Kalogroulis a design engineer with relevent bicycle experience. Finally after two versions of our CP-05 we are entering the market with our bicycle.
It has been a long and challenging journey but the Crosshead folding bicycle with its patented internal mechanisms, bespoke cast and extruded aluminium frame and high spec component options was an ambitious project from when I made the first sketch in 2009.
What are you ultimately trying to achieve?
To create a folding bicycle that doesn’t compromise performance, works well for a commuting journey and even better for an active weekend ride. A bike that makes use of high quality OEM components and 20 inch wheels to achieve road bike characteristics.
To unite design and engeineering skills creating a contemporary aluminium aerofoil sectioned frame with intergrated and streamlined mechanisms, a compact folded package but full sized to ride.
What gives you an edge over other brands in the industry?
Being a design-led business we place innovation extremely high on the agenda, but are experienced enough to know that without the thoughtful application of engineering we would forever remain a capable prototyping facility. Creating products that cyclists identify with is going to be our mission and to do that we are going to be placing R&D extremely high on the agenda and commit a large proportion of our income towards that goal.
We are a young brand so concentrating on being the best in our core market is going to be our goal for quite some time, with this in mind we aim to look after our folding bicycle customers and make sure all our accessories meet their very high expectations before we work out what comes next. We intend to maintain high standards of design regardless of the scale of task or product, so expect to see the evolution of a unique Crosshead approach from a cycling and design perspective.
What innovations in the industry are exciting you at the moment?
I particulary like the fact that the popularity of steel and aluminium frames has returned to prominence, alongside carbon fibre, and that each evolving separately with more informed discussion on merit relating to the requirements each very particular market.
The evolution of the Pedelec is something that I am particularly excited about, with technology being such a major part of our lives it is facinating to see it confronting the cycle industry in so many sectors and electric bicycles in particular. With the arrival of electric bikes, opportunities are opening up in numerous sectors helping create completely new products in Road and Off road markets; there’s so much more yet to explore – Crosshead already have 3D concepts to help with internal planning the future. It is already apparent when I talk with fellow cyclists that the stigma attached to electric bicycles has all but disappeared, encouraging more people onto bicycles and extending the years older cyclists keep active.
What does the future hold for the company?
Crosshead is very optimistic about its future and will initially set down its roots and build a relatively local following, making sure we attend to the detail in our manufacturing processes and ensure we look after our cycling customers and provide access to Crosshead for meaningful discussion about our direction. We will be expanding our range of products to include all that a Crosshead folding cyclist requires to get on with enjoying an active life on the road and wherever that journey takes them.
We believe that all companies have a local and wide impact on the environment, not just with our responsibility to develop sustainable manufacturing solutions but in our ability to add to the quality of life for employees; and hoping to be welcomed as a new brand presence.