Trek - Drive on, drive faster, discover more of the world.
It was a modest beginning
When I was twelve, my father came home from work one night and announced that we would buy bicycles for us and go for a bike ride.
"Okay, Dad," was my reaction.
When we drove into town to pick our bikes, he told me about a guy from South Africa named Bevil Hogg, who ran a bike shop in Madison, Wisconsin, and was looking for someone to invest in his business. But since I could not think of anything but my new bike, I only listened with half an ear. After buying two bicycles, a couple of panniers, and some maps, my dad announced that we would ride the bicycles from our Beaver Lake home to Fond du Lac and back the following weekend.
The track is really beautiful and runs through the hills and valleys of the Kettle Moraine region. I do not think I used to ride a bike more than 15 kilometers at a time, and now we should be riding 110 kilometers in one day. I do not remember much of this trip except that I crashed while crossing a railroad track and that on the first day we were on the last few miles on a busy road and I was almost swept off the road by a truck. On the second day of our two-day tour we took a break in a bar outside Monches. I drank root beer and my dad grabbed a couple of beers before we hit the wheels and headed home. It was a really great weekend.
Shortly after, my dad told me that he had bought a bike shop called Madison's Stella Bicycle Shop together with Bevil. My father was a resourceful man, always on the lookout for promising business opportunities. When he met Bevil Hogg on a plane, he spontaneously decided to extend his interest in bicycles to business as well.
After the first shop in Madison, they soon opened a second Stella Bicycle Shop in Champaign, Illinois. My dad always thought ahead, and so he persuaded Bevil to open bicycle shops in university towns across the country. However, there was a problem: It did not work. The stores were losing money and my father and Bevil had to close all business in the fall of 1975. Both had to realize that not only could they sell some brand if they wanted to be successful; they had to sell something special. Since none of the good brands was for sale, the solution was obvious: they had to start their own bicycle brand.
Nobody in the US built really good bikes back then. Instead of selling bikes from other brands, Bevil proposed making high quality bikes in the United States. Schwinn sold many cheap bicycles and children's bicycles at that time, and then there were some European high-end brands, but there were no bicycles made in the US covering the mid to upper price range. It was a unique idea and something really special.
President, Trek Bicycle
Der Driving Park
Eighty years before Trek founders named Waterloo, Wisconsin, home to their new company, the Waterloo Driving Park Association was born in the southwest of the city. Two years before Henry Ford's introduction of his first automobile, the term "driving" was reserved primarily for two things, horse and bicycle racing.
At that time, residents of the city gathered around the waterhole at Waterloo Driving Park on weekends, cheering for the daredevil or even racing in one of the races.
People wear racing for fun, excitement, challenge. The competition is in the nature of man, and since the invention of the bicycle there are also bicycle races. Forty-eight years after the first bold cyclists competed on an oval, Trek was to lay the foundation stone for his new headquarters across the street.
Today, Trek surveys this historic piece of land. The racetrack no longer exists, but human nature has not changed, at least in this one aspect, because the competition is simply in our blood.
Born in a barn
Trek is more than just a name. Trek stands for a collection of values that is indispensable in the bicycle industry.
The road to superior performance is paved with curiosity.
In 1976, the founders of Trek asked the following question: Why is there no high-performance bike in the US? Today, Trek provides the most talented and passionate bicycle engineers with the resources to challenge everything, because innovation only happens when you have the courage to ask really uncomfortable questions and take risks. To be at the top, you are committed to innovation.
A cornerstone of Trek since inception has been the company's ability to modify proven materials and develop new materials. While others favor faster and cheaper processes, Trek committed to using the highest quality steel frames and time-consuming and cost-intensive silver plating. Why? Because we understood even then that the best products can be made only with the highest quality materials and the most profound knowledge of their properties. This commitment has led to extraordinary advances in materials science, including the development of our exclusive OCLV Carbon, and our quality standards are reflected in every single bike that bears our name.
There are chassis manufacturers and there are bicycle manufacturers. And then there are companies that are both. These companies understand that a suspension-equipped bike can only function optimally when designed as a complete system. We have the most passionate and progressive mountain bike minds in the world, driving our evolution into new, unimagined performance dimensions. Trek's award-winning Suspension Design Team, which together with Gary Fisher can count on the support of one of the most iconic bike visionaries, is the driving force behind some of the industry's most radical and groundbreaking suspension developments.
The main motive for the design battles of the past ten years has undoubtedly been the race for the most efficient bike in the world. If there are only a thousandth of a second between victory and defeat, a bike that moves through the air with less resistance makes the difference. With his groundbreaking adoption of aerospace design, aerospace research, test and design processes and tools, as well as those who share our passion for speed, Trek has continued to expand its industry-leading aerodynamic development leadership.
The best rides are those where you can get peak performance as comfortable as possible, and the analysis of biomechanical principles and the implementation of these findings in the development of our clothing and saddles give Trek a high priority. We believe that the interaction between the body of an athlete and our products should provide optimal performance at all times. Every exit should be your best. Our collaboration with leading biomechanics research organizations has created designs that have enhanced the driving experience of thousands of cyclists around the world.
The look of a bike - its shape, contour and paint - is extremely important. In some cases, the aesthetics of a bike can even affect its performance. Every detail counts for Trek, which is why we take the smallest details into account during development. What is necessary to further refine the aesthetics of a bike? Lacquers that provide higher reflectivity and lower weight. Colors and graphics inspired by catwalks in Paris and Milan. And the boundless desire to encourage cyclists around the world to love their bikes and ride more.