Chris and I studied at the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton, New Brunswick. It’s been almost 10 year since we graduated in 2006 with mechanical engineering degrees. Today a large part of what we do is thanks to our education at UNB. This month we were featured in the UNB Alumni News. The story can be found on the UNB Alumni News Direct website.
Originally posted on UNB Alumni News. Written by Natasha Rego
UNB alumni reinvent the wheel
Twin brothers and UNB alumni Jon and Chris Thornham (BScME’06) are making their mark on the cycling industry with their redesign of the Chris (left) and Jon Thornham (right) have redesigned the ultra-light carbon fibre wheel.
Chris (left) and Jon Thornham (right) have redesigned the ultra-light carbon fibre wheel.
ultra-light carbon fibre wheel being sold to cyclists around the world.
The Thornhams began designing high-performance racing wheels after Chris, a triathlete, was asked for more than $2,000 to purchase a set of wheels.
“We felt there had to be a way to combine a high tech proprietary design with an affordable sales model,” Chris explains.
With a very demanding market and a computer software to measure the wheels’ aerodynamics, the Thornhams realized they had the ability to create an economical, high-performance product.
In February 2012, the brothers launched FLO Cycling, a web-based direct sales model.
It was an instant success selling 750 cycling wheels to 28 countries in the first half hour of sales. To date, the brothers have sold 10,000 wheels to 52 countries.
“The reviews of the products’ performance and quality has been overwhelmingly positive,” says Chris. “We are very proud of that.”
Jon and Chris are also making an effort to give back to the community through their ‘Bike for a Kid’ program, which donates a bike and a helmet to a child in need every time they sell a set of wheels with ceramic bearings.
The UNB mechanical engineering undergraduates credit much of FLO Cycling’s success to their studies at UNB.
“Ever since I was young I knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur,” says Jon. “Without UNB we would not be where we are today.”