Long-serv­ing staff mem­bers give the view from the in­side

Cyclist - - Insider -

NIC JAMES, mas­ter wheel builder, started 1995

‘I’ve been in the bike in­dus­try all my life. The wheel build­ing thing re­ally started af­ter I left Zipp for a short pe­riod, but they still needed some­one to build wheels so I would turn up in my car and they would give me a pile of rims, spokes and hubs to build at home and pay me cash per wheel. I came back full time in 2000. At that time we were just about 20 peo­ple and we worked 50-60 hour weeks, but I think pretty soon af­ter we were dou­bling in size al­most ev­ery year.’

SONJA FIELDS, pro­duc­tion su­per­vi­sor, started 1992

‘I’d never heard of car­bon fi­bre when I joined Zipp. I’ve been cut­ting parts re­ally since the start, but I’ve done a lot of dif­fer­ent roles at Zipp. Mak­ing car­bon wheels is like putting to­gether jig­saw puz­zles – all the pieces have to go into the moulds in spe­cific ori­en­ta­tions. I don’t re­mem­ber ex­actly how many pieces but it’s a lot, and it’s a very labour-in­ten­sive job.’

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