Transplant Athlete
Friday, August 31, 2007
  What Would You Do?

A little over a year ago, I went to an interview at Zipp Speed Weaponry. The owner (Andy Ording) kept saying he didn't think I had the engineering chops to be successful in the position so, I shared with him an idea I had for making bikes more aerodynamic. It is probably the last place to take any significant time out of a bike and for Pro's who obsess about the locations of the seams on their kit, it would be worthwhile to them. It was a radical change and required that the bike be designed around a specially designed disk wheel to move the seat stays behind the frame, getting them out of the airflow.

I suggested he work with Softride to design a time trial specific bike with this new design because their bike had already gotten rid of the seat stays and the chainstays were the last thing left in the airflow. He suggested Cervelo because he had a better relationship with them. He thought about the idea for a little while, but continued with his theory that I didn't have the knowledge or experience to be a good engineer.

I went home and created some engineering sketches outlining my idea from his perspective and sent them to him. I tried following up, but I didn't get the job.

This year during the Tour De France, I was usually fast forwarding through most of the stages, when I happened to catch Frankie taking a look at the bikes Cervelo had supplied for the race. There on the back of the bike was my idea. The seat stays were pulled in against the frame to get them out of the airflow.

I did a quick patent search and Cervelo hasn't been granted a patent yet. Should I apply for one? Should I send a polite note to Zipp asking for some renumeration? Should I send a polite note to Cervelo asking for some compensation? Should I surrender this one to the cosmos?


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if you signed and dated your sketches and your original idea work and it's less than a year old you should be able to still file a patent application.

you should do that anyway, just in case. if it gets granted, ask Cervelo for a slice of the pie.
Dont be an idiot. The idea of a wheel hugging seattube is wayyyy older than cervelo, and older than you. If you did not know that already when you applied to zipp, then you definately did not deserve to get the job.
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I've gone through kidney failure twice. The first time in 2000, my mother donated a kidney; and again in 2008, I'm on dialysis waiting for a breakthrough in immuno-suppression medicines before seeking a new kidney.

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