If you are into cycling then you might have heard the name Fidlock. They have revolutionized bottle cages with their magnet technology, but there is so much more to them. In 2019 Fidlock won the Design and Innovation award with their UNI Connector, and the following year so did KEEGO. It seems that working together was just a matter of time.
So we interviewed Johanna from Fidlock and she gave us a unique perspective on her company. Here we go!
Can you introduce yourself and tell us about Fidlock?
HI! I'm Johanna and I have been responsible for marketing Bike products at FIDLOCK since 2018. The most important thing right away: I ride gravel and, since this season, also mountain bikes. In job interviews, one of our first questions is: "Do you ride a bike?" Of course, this is not meant quite seriously and is not really a criterion for exclusion 😉 But it's a very fitting preface, because FIDLOCK was not always represented with end products in the bicycle industry either.
Johanna was kind enough to share a photo of hers with us. :)
It all starts with the, now legendary, "from cellist to company founder" story. I'll be brief, but for FIDLOCK it is an essential part and therefore indispensable for an introduction.
Joachim, our founder and CEO, is actually a studied cellist, but at the same time has always been an enthusiastic tinkerer. As a cellist, he had two problems: he could not cycle to work with the cello case, and in order to hang the cello bow in the case, he had to lay the valuable cello on the floor - because hanging it in with one hand had not been possible until then. He solved problem 1 with an innovative and previously unheard-of cello case carrying system, which led to the founding of his first company. He no longer runs the company, but it still exists today.
Joachim, the CEO
He solved problem number 2 with a magnetic snap closure that he could operate with one hand. That was the beginning of FIDLOCK in 2007. More and more customers became aware of this solution and asked for their own closure systems for their products. The magnetic attraction was then supplemented by the mechanical latch - a unique and unbeatably secure combination.
''Combining our two technologies could be the ultimate drinking experience for all cyclists...''
The BIKE products were only added in 2016. One of our product developers had the problem that his bottle always fell out of the bottle cage. He then worked on a solution for this problem - and the TWIST system was born.
For this, two SNAP closures from the FIDLOCK portfolio were glued to a bottle, 3D parts were printed, tested, optimised and finally, at the Eurobike 2016, we presented a bottle in two colours. At that time, no one had thought of selling the bottles as our own FIDLOCK brand. We had no experience with that at all until then. But the bottles were well received, so we took the risk. Today, 5 years later, we can say that it was a good decision!
Evolution of Fidlock Bottles
What actually makes Fidlock so special?
Besides our unique and ingenious products, I would say that the people and the spirit make FIDLOCK special. For me, this spirit is rooted in the history of our origins - you can become anything with us: From cellist to company founder or from biologist to QC manager - if you just have the vision and the courage to make it happen. You'll simply be given so much confidence that you'll be happy to put yourself out there and give 110%. Of course, making mistakes is also part of the job - and that's okay with us, as long as you learn from them.
''Even in home office times, we met again and again on Tuesdays for digital "gin days" so as not to lose contact.''
In addition, the hierarchies are flat and the atmosphere is very relaxed - sometimes you could easily forget that you are not sitting with friends but with colleagues at work. When the work is fun, you naturally go about things with much more passion - and that's the feedback we get from customers time and time again. I believe that this is what enables us to develop unique products out of passion and with fun.
How has Corona impacted Fidlock? Not just the sales, but also everything around it.
Of course, Corona surprised us first - as it probably did everyone. The first week of the lockdown was also the week of our move into a new, large company building. It was a great pity not to be able to unpack the boxes and inaugurate the new building with all our colleagues.
Since no events could take place, we naturally had to rethink our marketing. Our products have to be tried out and experienced - that's why trade fairs are an important touchpoint for us. In addition, there was the unexpected bike boom in the lockdown, which really shook up the industry. We also felt the effects and had delivery bottlenecks.
''There are almost no limits to the imagination of our customers.''
But despite the distance due to the home office and the simultaneous large growth due to the boom of the last few months, we have managed to maintain a family-like atmosphere and to convey this to the outside world. Even in home office times, we met again and again on Tuesdays for digital "gin days" so as not to lose contact.
And this summer we were finally able to celebrate a summer party in the new building - where we were able to meet some new colleagues for the first time!
We know Fidlock from the cycling industry, but you guys are actually present in many other industries, correct?
Exactly, as already mentioned, we actually also come from the components business. And our fasteners are used everywhere: on helmets of all kinds, on shoes, clothing, bags and satchels, on orthoses, parachutes, Nordic walking poles, scooters... There are almost no limits to the imagination of our customers.
Why did Fidlock partner with KEEGO?
Two innovative award winners and newcomers to the industry with one goal - to improve the drinking experience on the bike, in everyday life and during sports. So a collaboration is only logical! You have a good and innovative bottle that hits the nerve of the time: drinking pleasure without plastic. And we have the problem solver for attaching it to the bike. Combining our two technologies could be the ultimate drinking experience for all cyclists.
What are some of your future plans for Fidlock? (And KEEGO)
Of course, our top priority is to expand our Bike product range and to constantly improve our products in order to provide our customers with the best FIDLOCK moments - our mission is to make everyday life a little more magical, comfortable and fun. Solving problems with ingenious products is what gets us out of bed every day. So the perfect starting point for a collaboration with KEEGO - maybe even beyond the current bundle, who knows 😉