You are here

Zagon Composites to Enter US and Canadian Markets with High Performance Carbon Bicycle Wheels

Published March 24, 2021

BRAIN does not edit, endorse, or fact check these press releases. They are posted as a service to our readers and supporters. Contact us to submit a press release or if you find a posting objectionable.

Zagon Composites opened their Office in Orlando, FL in February, 2021 to expand the brand to North America and to serve customers in the United States and Canada with a local presence. The US business will be headed by Ross Astrup, VP for Sales & Marketing. The company designs and manufactures premium high-performance carbon bicycle wheels from their headquarters in South Africa. Announcing the venture, Astrup stated: "we are excited to bring such a unique high-tech carbon bicycle wheel brand to the USA to serve the high-performing customer market segment who has extraordinary expectations for their equipment to deliver on their quest for speed?"

The company was founded by Marcel Genis in 2015 after he completed his master's degree in mechanical engineering under the leadership of Prof Attie Jonker, renowned founder of Jonker Sailplanes, the world's foremost manufacturer of high-performance sail planes which are flown by many world champion pilots. As a post-grad engineering student Mr. Genis focused on the structural design of composite materials and the optimization of airflow across airfoils. In addition to Mr Genis' academic background, he is also an Ironman triathlete who competed at international level. This experience gave him significant insights into what competitive athletes expect from carbon bicycle wheels.

Mr Genis hypothesized that there are better methods to design carbon bicycle wheels to improve the aerodynamic characteristics thereof and for the bicycle as an integrated system significantly. To achieve this, he purposely decided to follow a different engineering design approach for his carbon bicycle wheels which became known as the Trailing Airflow Optimization™ (TAO) design approach. With this approach the primary focus is to use the latter section of the front wheel to redirect airflow away from the bicycle to reduce the resulting drag forces on the bicycle and cyclists. A latent benefit from this design approach is that it allowed the engineering team the opportunity to rethink and redesign the airfoil's parabolic shape at the rim's spoke bed to improve the re-attachment of airflow to the latter section of the carbon wheel from various angles of oncoming crosswinds.

According to Dr Bouwer, who is responsible for strategic innovation and growth at Zagon Composites, there are several reasons for the aggressive move to serve customers in the North Americas market; (1) with the release of the 2nd generation wheelsets the company will not only focus on triathletes but also road cyclists as well where the US provides the critical mass for the highly competitive road cyclist market segment, (2) to meet the aggressive production growth target of more than 3,000 wheelsets annually, establishing partnerships as a supplier for US bicycle OEMs will be a critical component for their B2B growth strategy and finally (3) to grow beyond an annual revenue target of US$10 million, Zagon will carefully select opportunities to increase brand recognition with the large US and Canadian consumer base to grow B2C online ecommerce sales through the Zagon website or other digital marketplace partners.

Zagon Composites will initially enter the US market with 40mm, 60mm and 90mm deep section carbon bicycle wheelsets with various preconfigured combinations thereof for both rim and disc brake road bicycles. The rim brake wheels were designed not to support tubeless tires to deliver the strongest and most durable carbon rim brake wheelset that can endure high tire pressures, punishing road conditions and rotational brake forces while functioning at extreme high temperatures close to 200˚C. The disc brake wheelsets will be tubeless ready since the clincher area of the rim does not need to operate within such extreme strenuous conditions.

The product development roadmap for 2021 includes: (1) a new hub design to reduce weight and to further optimize airflow dynamics, and (2) a new all-terrain carbon wheelset that is aerodynamically optimized for 28 mm tires while it can support tire sizes from 28 mm to 45 mm wide for the growing gravel bicycle market.

Additional product information is available at

Join the Conversation