|Rolf Dietrich, in partnership with former Trek employees Blair Winter, Brian Roddy, and TJ Walsh, has formed a new company, Rolf Prima Incorporated, to continue development of high performance wheelsystems. |
Blair Winter, Brian Roddy, and TJ Walsh all worked in Product Development at Trek during the Rolf Wheels years. Winter was Product Manager for Wheels and directly involved with bringing Dietrich to Trek. Roddy was a principal Design Engineer on the Rolf and Bontrager Wheel teams. Walsh worked as Product Manager, heading the Bontrager component team. Winter, Roddy, and Walsh left the Product Development Group at Burley Design Cooperative this summer, where they had worked together since leaving Trek in spring, 1999.
“It is a coup, and absolute delight to me to have these three guys working with me", says Dietrich. “They bring a wealth of Engineering, Product, and Marketing experience to the company".
Dietrich is the inventor and originator of the Paired Spoke Design concept in bicycle wheels.
Dietrich’s wheel design and patents were introduced and marketed successfully by Trek in 1997. That license agreement expired at the end of 2001. “We are very happy to now be free to continue development of the product and marketing message we started so successfully at Trek." “A small, singularly focused organization with our talent and experience is better positioned to more fully advance my designs", said Dietrich.
Dietrich says his team is excited about the high end wheel market. “Interest in the high end categories, especially road racing, continues to be very strong", says Dietrich. “Our Paired Spoke Design technology really shook up the wheel market when we introduced it in 1997. Today, the list of imitators is significant. That Shimano chooses to integrate our Paired Spoke Design technology in their wheels is the ultimate validation to us", Dietrich said. “A quick survey of the wheel market could lead one to conclude that Paired Spoke Design has become an industry standard".
The defining design element in Dietrich’s wheels is Paired Spoke Design Technology, which brings spokes from both sides of the hub to one point at the rim. Pairing spokes at the rim successfully counters the lateral force component of the spoke tension and enables wheels to be built with lighter rims and fewer spokes than is possible with traditional wheels. “With the traditional method of spoke lacing, you will quickly realize absolute minimums for rim weight and spoke count. Push these envelopes and wheels will have dangerous handling characteristics and will not stay true".
Dietrich’s wheel designs are protected by numerous patents in the US and in other countries. Dietrich and his attorneys have notified many brands with infringing designs. Several license agreements have been successfully negotiated and are now in force. Dietrich declines to name the brands.www.rolfprima.com