Thomas, could you please briefly introduce yourself & your background?
I'm quite lucky to combine my profession with my passion. Before my professional career, everything revolved around sports as a professional athlete. After an apprenticeship as a tailor and the subsequent study of fashion design, I worked for several fashion brands until I decided to focus on sports in my profession and since then the focus has been on the development of functional clothing. In the last 20 years I've become more and more specialized and have studied the latest technologies for the making of textile clothing and have worked directly with suppliers to develop new processing technologies and then a completely new garment.
Thomas, in recent years leading outdoor clothing manufacturers & expedition teams have turned to you to solve their technology & development challenges and create cutting-edge products. For this, you have won multiple ISPO awards. Can you tell us a bit more, how you could bring in the latest technology into the cycling industry with vandeyk.racing? What challenged you when working on the products? With a lot of apparel brands in the market, what are the major areas to make a true difference?
The focus for a unique garment I want to do sports with is the function. The question is always, for what do I want to use it, what requirements do I've for the garment. To be clear about, I first have to analyze the movement process, then I can think about materials, workmanship technologies, and fit. The design, which is the focus for most of the brands, doesn't interest me at first, that follows after the functional analysis and development. vandeyk.racing is apparel for ambitious, athletic riders who can concentrate 100% on their time in the saddle and their body and don't want to waste a thought or energy on their second skin. This was and still is the incentive to develop uncompromising cycling gear for sustainable freedom and health through riding your bicycle.
Please tell us about your favorite cycling spots. As you recently moved to beautiful Engadine, Switzerland: does it inspire your work, and how do you like the new testing backyard?
I live in a wonderful place, for me the most beautiful place I can imagine, to do exactly what I love, sports in nature. Cycling is an essential part of it and multible passes are in the immediate vicinity of my home, so I can put the latest protos to test. The altitude is also key for ideas, because the weather can change very quickly in a short time, even in high summer, and I can study and get to know the products in many ways. It is also a paradise for gravel biking, which I also love to do. The material reaches its limits and I learn what works for our products and what is less good.
Looking at the current lineup of vandeyk.racing products: can you tell us a bit about your favourite pieces & technology highlights? Can you give us any hint what is in store for the future?
Well, I'm very happy about what we did and now launched to the market after about 3 years of development. One of the core items is the unique bib shorts with a technologically completely new approach for the integration of the chamois. This development offers a whole new riding experience in the saddle, even after hours in the worst weather conditions. I can't single out any one product, because we've thought about every little detail and every stitch, every type of workmanship has its justification. One product or rather material that really excites me is our own fabric development for the Aero Shell series, the PFAS-free Aero Shell 3L softshell stretch fabric. For me, the Aero Shell Pro Jacket is a product that I usually wear or have with me on a ride in the mountains; it withstands wind and rain and at the same time protects against cooling.
We've developed an excellent base with the first lineup with which a cyclist is very well equipped for warm to transitional weather conditions, while further products will be added continuously. And absolutely, sure - Women's styles are in development. For us, however, this doesn't mean that we will be satisfied and finished at any point; there are so many products and ideas that we would like to implement for an uncompromising feeling and confidence in all weather conditions. vandeyk.racing will offer an expanding range of innovative products, for all those who are as passionate about cycling as we are.