We Are One Composites takes industry by storm
Known as a hotspot for mountain biking, Kamloops, B.C. is home to We Are One Composites, a bike part manufacturer going against industry norms to engineer, manufacture and distribute their products in-house.
“The industry norm is to rely on engineering overseas for this and taking what you get when it is shipped to you. The whole reason we started this is because we wanted to control the process from the ground up and ensure the engineering that was put into the product was done correctly and up to the highest standards possible,” said Dustin Adams, We Are One CEO .
He formed the company in January of 2017 with a team of six. The company has since grown to a 10 people distributing carbon rims worldwide.
“Our goal is to manufacture a bike. We’re moving in the direction in our five year to actually be able to manufacture a bicycle here in Kamloops. Without having a pretty good understanding of carbon fibre and mould making it would be a real challenge to get to that and rims is a really good start point for it,” said Adams.
Using a carbon fibre for their products provided them with engineering challenges which tested their team creatively before they moved into larger scale products.
“Carbon fibre is a pretty unique material. It has really good strength-to-weight properties. We were able to finely tune the actual feel of the product and the strength of the product over traditional aluminum rims,” he said.
“It’s been a pretty good test for the team. We’ve come a long way in a year and a half, hopefully we can continue to move in that direction,” said Adams.
Focusing on creating 27.5 and 29-inch rims the company spent over six months physically testing their products across the globe to ensure they exceeded their standards.
“We’ve got riders in Southern California, we’ve got riders in Vancouver, Squamish. We’ve got a couple in France who do some testing for us on the product and got feedback from them at the top level on how they performed what we needed to improve on where we may be missing the mark. They took that information and compiled into a pretty good list of changes that we had to make,” he explained.
The company then sent out new iterations every three weeks, five times to get better feedback from each of their riders before everyone was happy with the products. Currently manufacturing 3,300 products a year, the young company has seen less than one per cent come back with any manufacturing errors.
“Currently we’re seeing less than three rims per month come through the door, so we haven’t turned anybody away and continue to see success with that model and we’ll still stand behind the product no matter what,” said Adams.
For those considering switching to a carbon rim, Adams said riders will notice a much quicker windup, a better track on rough terrain and a snappier feel in corners. We Are One Composites products can be found at Spoke and Motion, District Bike Shop and online at weareonecomposites.com.