Nic runs a business building custom bike equipment, mostly special parts for paralympians, and repairing carbon frames and wheels. She's one of those people you don't meet very often. Nic is an ex-pro long-distance triathlete with a degree in kinesiology as well as an inventor - she makes things by using her curiosity and ingenuity.
Phil is one of the founders, along with Gerard Vroomen, of Cervélo Cycles which became the engineering leader in the bike industry and, arguably, completely redefined it. With a focus on technical and marketing innovation, Cervélo grew from a garage startup to become the most popular triathlon and high performance bike brand in the world. Tour Magazine recognized Cervélo as the continued engineering leader - they found it was the fastest bike in every category that they tested including aero road, lightweight road, and TT/triathlon.
As a lightweight pro racer, Nic wanted the full benefit from using the most aero wheels (deep dish or full disc wheel) but there was always the inevitable trade off - as the wheel becomes more aero, the weight increases. She also faced the risk of being blown off the road - windy race conditions meant that she spent a lot of her focus and energy on stabilizing and fighting the wind rather than harnessing the wind to move forward as fast as possible. The holy grail would be an aerodynamic wheel that pushed you forward, was superlight and stable in crosswinds. A race wheel that could be ridden by anyone, on any course and in any wind condition.
Nic tried some ideas and appeared to be onto something. She asked Phil what he thought. He'd pondered how to adapt to the wind while at Cervélo and the lightbulb turned on when Nic showed him this video:A simple and effective solution that had great potential. Together, they’ve spent the next couple of years refining Nic’s idea.