The Rider Firm People
Meet the People Behind The Rider Firm
Hunt Bike Wheels exists to create cutting-edge performance wheel products for devoted riders like you. Cycling, for all of the team here at HUNT | TheRiderFirm, is a core passion - whether we are riding along a ribbon of forgotten singletrack; pounding through the daily commute or racing our riding buddies to the next street sign... riding is very much a part of what we do at TheRiderFirm. A lot goes on behind the scenes to bring you wheels created from the drive to deliver a riding experience second to none. Here are the people who make this possible.
Product Engineering ManagerMSc Aerospace Engineering
Specialist in composites and aerodynamics, having wind tunnel tested her wheel designs with no less than 3 World Tour Teams.
Luisa Grappone hails from the motherland of cycling, pink jerseys and big mountain climbing (aka Italy), but has made the move to Sussex to further strengthen the Hunt wheel development team as our full time in-house wheel engineer. With an MSc in Aerospace Engineering Luisa has a wealth of experience in the bicycle industry having worked for a total of 9 years at Italy's two most prestigious wheel companies with much of her life spent sweating over hot CAD drawings, carbon fibre lay-ups and crunching wind tunnel data.
Materials Scientist and OwnerPeter designs and coordinates how Hunt Wheels are produced.
Peter is Hunt Wheels co-founder, owner and materials scientist with a Masters Degree in Natural Sciences from Cambridge University, he even spent a summer in a lab at Queen Mary University having 'fun' with carbon nano tubes. Specialising in composites and metallurgy as well as having the answer to almost anything technically related to our wheels, Peter brings the edge to give you the best riding experience possible. Peter is also our encyclopedia for anything about pro-cycling racing… what he doesn’t know about the tour can be written on the knuckle of a Canary.
Chartered Materials EngineerBEng Honours In Production Engineering, Loughborough University
John helps design, test and produce your wheels.
Asides from being the father of Tom and Peter, John is one of our in house engineers. Heavily involved with our Research and Development department as well as being able to hold his own during time trials (sub 23 minute 10 miler and he's over 65!). John brings experience to the table and makes sense of all the details behind how your wheels perform. He has some serious history with the black stuff and was a Production Manager at Advanced Composite Components who produced one of the first F1 carbon fibre chassis for Alfa Romeo (who are coming back into F1 now). John also made carbon under-bodies and wings for Indy Cars and managed the production of the first carbon fibre spinnaker poles for ocean racing yachts. Periodically John spends time in the Isle of Man as well as down here in the South of England. John also hammers his wheels through all types of weather and riding conditions to push our 4Seasons mantra to the limit.
Customer Service and TechRichard will help answer all your queries regarding our wheels or any other cycling related questions.
Rich has come to TheRiderFirm with a wealth of experience from racing at elite level. In the years leading up to his racing career best of 16th at the British National Champs, he started out like many of us on a XC MTB back in the 90s. Sick of cleaning a bike and riding inappropriate hardtails, he “saw the light” as he says and switched to road permanently. Outside of the tape, Rich started off in the bike world at Boardman where he was Sales Manager for the South of the UK. 2017 brought him to I-Ride (a UK bike distributor) where he was Brand Manager. He also likes to casually mention that for a brief moment he was a ‘model’ in a Boardman commercial shown during the Tour de France almost every ad break and having more air time than some riders! Being a great climber, he also likes a hill climb TT where he finished a respectable top 10 in 2012 at the UK Hill Climb Champs. Needless to say, he now holds position as having the quickest time up Ditchling Beacon at TheRiderFirm (by a long shot too).
MTB Product Speccing, Technical and DispatchDan helps design and piece together some of our products as well as get the wheels from Hunt to you.
Dan just graduated from the University of Brighton where he studied Product Design Technology. With the skills he has learned and developed through his degree, he hopes to put them to good use helping us design some fantastic new wheelsets and some other smaller projects along the way. Dan will also be found in the customer service, tech and dispatch areas.
UK and European Product CommunicationsRoad and CX Manager
Ollie helps get information to you and co-ordinates our road and CX lineup.
Ollie is the longest serving full-time employee at Hunt, and has seen the company grow into what it is today. Starting out fitting tyres and helping send out wheels, Ollie is now behind product communications for the UK and Europe, and is the Brand Manager for our Road & CX line up. With a passion for all thing road racing & cyclocross... when Ollie isn’t at work or racing his bike (or staring at pictures of Mario Cipollini), he can mostly be found in hospital, owing to his fondness for crashing quite severely.
The Rider Firm Warehouse & Dispatch ManagerShirley manages wheel shipments, the warehouse and postage.
Shirley is one of the first employees here at The Rider Firm / Hunt clocking up a total of three and a half years. Previous to starting here, Shirley was a dry liner on a German building site so she sure knows how too keep everyone in line here. We are yet to get Shirley riding, but she is most definitely warming to the idea!
Stanimir ‘Stan’ Bolyarov
Website and Digital Marketing CoordinatorCustomer Services and Dispatch
Stan manages the content on our website and keeps an eye on our social media channels
Describes himself as ‘just another cycling junkie’ but really does know his stuff. Stan Bolyarov is a Robert Gordon University Management with Marketing Graduate who races road and cyclocross. He has even raced the Bulgarian National Road and TT Championships. To say the least… he is very handy on a bicycle. With experience of Dutch and German markets, having lived in both countries, Stan’s role will lie in pushing forward our website usability to give you the best access to tech information, spares and support you need.
Product Manager and OwnerTom helps decide what products are created and oversees business development.
Tom is Hunt’s Product Manager, co-founder and owner of Hunt and has a BSc Honours degree in Ergonomics from Loughorough University. With an eagle eye for detail and a drive to deliver purpose focused wheels, Tom agonises about every aspect of what we do here at HUNT | TheRiderFirm. Having started out riding and racing downhill MTB back in the day, then finding XC/marathon MTB and road racing, and even the odd CX race he's covered most bases, probably just because he loved the excuse to get new bikes. Tom still mixes it up with regular road and MTB rides and events, his biggest day out so far was riding the 165 mile Tour of Flanders cyclo full distance a couple of years running. With a long history in the UK Bike Industry, including a strong focus on wheels and sourcing bike components from all around the world, Tom links Hunt to its manufacturers, the team here in Sussex and wherever our wheels are being ridden all over the globe.
Customer Service and Product Development2015 TCR Winner // 4239KM // 9 days // 23 hours // 54 minutes
Josh helps out with any questions you may have as well as working on product dev ideas and testing HUNT wheels to lengths most of us will never dream of reaching, including winning the 2015 Transcontinental Race on HUNT 4 Season Disc Wheels covering a massive 4239km in an astoundingly short time of less than 10 days!
Josh started out as our very first full-time employee here at TheRiderFirm. Racing bicycles since he was knee high to a grasshopper, Josh has found his niche in ultra-endurance riding and bikepacking events. After holding the legendary MTB record for the South Downs Way Double for over 5 years, his biggest achievement has been taking out the win at the Transcontinental Race in 2015. It is very unusual for Josh to line up to a race which starts and finishes on the same day - although he has now develop a knack for CX over the winter. In May 2017, Josh left for an adventure of a life time and road across then down the length of America. He has now returned to the UK with us extending out a big warm 'welcome back'!
Product Communications and MTB & Gravel SpecialistHamish delivers you information from TheRiderFirm
We haven’t seen much of Hamish over the past two years… mostly due to him being located down under in Wollongong, Australia. His best MTB result so far is 15th at the Australian Nat Enduro Elite Champs 2017 - he wasn't happy with that and is aiming for higher next year, but he's only a young so we can see he'll keep smashing it. Having worked in a bicycle store since he was 14 to get a start on the wrenches, Hamish now handles media enquiries as well as pieces together our weekly Hunt Journal. Hamish doesn’t care too much about the numbers; has never owned a cycling computer; couldn’t tell you his maximum wattage output or what FTP stands for and usually measures if a ride was hard or not if he finds it… hard or not. Oh and Hamo has serious style and he's also dryer than a XXX in an Australian pub. See him here on Dirt TV in his Charge Bikes Ambassador role.
Customer Service, Tech, Dispatch & Triathlon AdviserSimon helps you with any questions you may have and helps with the logistics behind getting you the wheels
A long-time local rider to us here in West Sussex, Simon has spent decades riding the Sussex lanes and South Downs MTB trails. Simon is also somewhat of an accomplished triathlete having completed full distance Ironman events. Simon has also rolled the boards completing the Paris Roubaix challenge. Simon’s definitely the gentleman of the office and that comes through in his politeness and expertise when helping serve riders with an eternally positive attitude.
Lead Customer ServiceOperations Coordinator
Jack helps you find out more about our wheels and oversees any direct communications you may have with the rest of the team here.
Jack, AKA ‘Twed Flanders’ for his recent tash addition and uncanny resemblence, is currently a road mile basher hitting up 150+ miles just on his weekly commute! Jack grew up on the trails of Derbyshire on his MTB, moving up to Downhill racing through BMX, so he’s pretty much covered all bases and has wide knowledge of bike tech. A veteran of several years working for one of the UK’s leading cycle specialists Leisure Lakes, Jack most recently worked as an award winning customer service expert at American Express who have a huge focus on world-class customer care. Jack also has an impressive education including a 1st class honours degree and a Masters in Social and Political Thought so you can imagine the levels of care Jack goes to make sure he does his best for customers!
Finance and AccountsJulie does things with money and keeps things above board.
Julie is our numbers person. Taking care of the books and making sure everything is correct is what she does best. She's got a distinct passion for numbers and solving problems but that doesn't stop her from going out for a ride every now and again.
Customer Services, OE Manager and OpenDev Team ManagerSarah helps out Orignal Equipment Clients (bike companies) and answers any questions you may have.
Sarah first got into mountain biking after being convinced by her husband to start riding. Six years on she now has more Strava achievements than him! Sarah mostly rides mountain bikes and after a few years of upgrading and moving on she has managed to land her dream bicycle - a Santa Cruz Bronson, and she also has a rather sweet carbon Trek road bike too. At TheRiderFirm, Sarah is the main point of contact for our OE clients as well as clothing manager.
Operations CoordinatorCustomer and Wheel Service
Adam works on keeping our operations and warehouse efficient and accurate as well as offering excellent after sales service for your wheels.
Adam has an extensive history working in bicycle stores all over the UK. The knowledge he has attained from years spent on the shop floor as well as being in the workshop means he is extremely handy at tuning wheels as well as having an extensive knowledge on all the components which make up a wheel system. Adam devotedly rides a single-speed road bike to and from TheRiderFirm, but also enjoys days spent out on the road and MTB trails.
Customer Service, Tech and DispatchLee makes sure your wheels arrive in time with nicely sealed tyres
After semi-retiring, Lee has come to team from a background in IT management wanted to rediscover his passion for bikes. What better way to do that than by working at TheRiderFirm! Lee will be helping out across all of the teams here at Hunt, making sure you get your wheels on time and answer any questions you may have!
Customer Service, Tech and DispatchPiotr helps dispatching your wheels in the most efficient way possible
Piotr is the second triathlete to join the Hunt team so when he’s not pounding out laps in the pool or running track, he’s putting in time in on the bike getting as aero as possible and saying things like “140.6 & 70.3”. The former events manager and communications team at Portsmouth Triathletes will be joining the Hunt team to weigh in on our deeper wheels commonly used in Triathlons. As the Portsmouth Duathlon Series Champion and having completed an Ironman he is one strong athlete! Despite this, we always remind him that a ride should never be proceeded by a run or preceded by a swim, but he doesn’t listen…
Customer Service Team ManagerAlex manages the daily activities of the team at The Rider Firm
Former manager of South Downs Bikes, Alex has come to the Hunt Team to make sure everything is running like a Swiss watch. But like a Swiss army knife his riding switches between the MTB and road. You can find him taking on the Roubaix Sportif one weekend then smashing laps at BikePark Wales the next. As a self-confessed Trek fan and collector of retro bikes, his stable is certainly one to be jealous of!
Jim 'Jimbo' Barrow
Mechanic and Wheel BuilderJim builds wheels and fixes everything at The Rider Firm
Jim spends most of his life dreaming about being back on the Tour Divide trail. A mountain biker for almost as long as there have been mountain bikes in the UK, he’s raced XC, 12hr, 24hr, Enduro and is happy as long as his tyres are in the dirt. These days, when he's not building up wheels here at The Rider Firm, you’re likely to find him coaching MTB skills, organising guided rides or sleeping under a bush somewhere on another bikepacking trip.
Customer Service, Tech and DispatchTom will answer any of your questions and help out with any other support you need
Tom comes from a wealth of experience riding and racing all kinds of bikes. Having competed in everything from Downhill to TTs as well as successfully completing an 'Everesting' attempt of Knights Hill in West Sussex. Tom recently received his 3rd Cat License by winning the final race at the SDV Goodwood Race and taking 2nd from a breakaway in the race previous. This coming winter, Tom has his sights set on cyclocross as the next discipline to try his hand at in the near future. When Tom is not riding or talking about bikes, he's always hunting for those extra watts to try and better his 10mile TT PB of 21:43. Tom will be part of our customer service team and ready to answer any questions you have.
Tech and Warranty ManagerAl helps out with all things technical and manages the warranty team at The Rider Firm
Al’s love of all things bike started with riding and tinkering with his Raleigh Commando out in the sticks of Leicestershire. These days you might spot him on a road bike, but his real love is getting away from the traffic and into off-road territory. After graduating from Brighton University Al somewhat bizarrely found himself managing tie-shops in London. After becoming disillusioned with the neckwear industry he landed a job in one of London’s premier bike shops. It was here that he was taught the finer points of bike mechanics under the tuition of the late, great, tech extraordinaire Pete Bolas. From here Al went on to manage workshops for Evans Cycles and set up their suspension servicing business. Al spent the next decade working for a couple of UK distributors in both sales and tech roles before joining the team at Hunt to lend a hand with all things technical. You may recognise Al from the maintenance articles and videos he’s been pumping out for MBR and Cycling Weekly since the mid 2000’s.
Customer Service, Tech and DispatchRobin can usually be found putting the compressor through its paces in the tyre fitting bay, making sure your tires are nicely sealed.
An MTB obsessive, he is lucky enough to live at the foot of the South Downs, which is where he heads whenever he gets a chance. He spends most of his waking (and some of his sleeping) hours thinking about where and what to ride next. Robin has 20+ years professional experience as an illustrator/designer, which he still finds time for, but enjoys his days at The Rider Firm and being surrounded by all things bike and people who like to ride them.