QUOTE (Bro78 @ Apr 22 2012, 01:54 PM)
Very Cool, Thanks for posting.
As an industrial designer (toy industry) I would love to get a feel for the reality of working for a bike company, especially 90's Gt.
What where the challenges?
What are you up to now?
It was a bit of a tough time at first to be a degreed Designer and thrown into the old school mix of characters GT had working then. Gary originally worked for a musical instrument company and used the shop after hours to build bikes for his son, Dan was an ex hardcore biker who transformed himself into an extremely talented self taught fabricator. Buzz was salty as could be and ran the production for a long time. Gilbert was a aluminum master and responsible for the PK Ripper and other early Alloy BMX frames before going to GT and building the Powerlite frames. So here comes this young kid who they thought was going to tell them how to do things. Well I was smart enough to know I was not so smart, so I listened and learned the ways and whys they did things like they did. I remember building one of my first prototype frames I designed, it looked pretty crappy and the guys had a good time watching me fumble around the shop. I remember Buzz saying, "you going to ride that thing" I said Hell no I wouldn't trust anything I made... That finally broke the ice and they knew I wasn't some a-hole kid who thought he knew it all. From then on I was able to use what I learned in school and mix it with their "old school" way of doing things. So it made for some good stuff, and the guys taught me so much.
At first I did sketches and hand built models like an Industrial designer would have been taught, but eventually just made stuff in the shop when I had an idea. Later on I transitioned from sketches, models and prototypes to Auto-Cad to Pro-Engineer and CNC, my job became much more Engineering based than just design.
GT R&D was just a few people at this time in the early 90's, eventually there were about 30 people in R&D when I left. Big changes in a short period of time. It was defiantly the golden years under Richard.
Again the experience was great not only with the guys in manufacturing but Marketing as well, Big E, Woody, Pete as well as all the sponsored riders gave me much of the challenges that needed to be addressed. I always felt the product from GT was not just one person doing designs, but a true group effort to make the best bike in the business. So please keep in mind when I say my bikes I worked on, do take it so direct. I could not have done anything without the great team at GT during this time. I may have put the pen to paper, but the guys told me what needed to be done and why, we all worked on it together. This is what makes a company great, a good team.
I am still in the bike business working for a manufacture of mostly high end bikes. I direct the R&D department and work mostly with the carbon frames structures and manufacturing of carbon bikes.