“We’re going to build the best bikes possible. This has me sticking around. As long as we continue to have that drive and attract the level of talent we have here.”
This is how Project Manager Dave Koesel describes Felt Bicycles. The Michigan native was one of the original employees of Felt Bicycles, starting with the upstart bike brand in 2005. Dave came into the sport of cycling during college, but his love of tinkering with a bike and all things mechanical started much earlier growing up in Monroe.
“I would pedal my old bike during the off-season of cross-country (high school). Cycling wasn’t my thing – it was running.”
Once he left home for college, Dave started mountain biking to commute and discovered he could ride anywhere and it turned into his endurance “fix” as he was no longer running.
However, while still in college he, along with some partners, opened a bike shop in Ann Arbor, Michigan. It was there that Dave became more deeply involved in the bike business and started to stand out in sales eventually becoming a sales rep.
After building up his territories as an independent rep, Koesel was offered a position in 2005 at Felt as their Western Regional Sales Manager, relocating him to California. Dave’s extensive knowledge of cycling as both an accomplished amateur racer and as someone who knew the nuts and bolts of the industry was recognized. Soon his position at Felt changed to that of Product Development.
While Dave’s racing days are more limited it doesn’t mean he isn’t still competitive. He’s often going through the online training log site Strava.com looking to beat other rider’s personal records.
“I’ll go through the segment search on Strava and find ones that suit me, five-minute segments with 1% to 3% gradients, and I try to take their KOM.”
The Felt lunch rides also get quite spirited and it’s known that you’d better bring your “A” game for this hour long ride. While during the lunch ride no quarter is given or taken, by the time the group rolls into the Felt parking lot the tone has shifted.
“It has built some camaraderie among the different departments. When you ride with someone it’s like you’re breaking bread with them.”
As one of the original Felt employees, as well as being in the cycling industry for most of his adult life, Super Dave is still very passionate about the sport.
“You couldn’t do this job very long unless you loved cycling so much,” said Dave.
“When I first started we were an unknown triathlon brand. Now we can say we’ve won world championships, Olympics, national championships, and built some of the most aerodynamic bikes in the industry. That comes from the same drive. Regardless of size or resources we’re going to build the best bikes possible.”