About us

More then 30 years of expertise

In 1990, Hubert van Ham started Radical Design. As a repair-technician for outdoor shops and with a passion for mountaineering, the goal was to make backpacks that excel in reliability and simplicity of construction. Since then the company has grown globally, but the original vision endures.

Whilst products such as the iconic bicycle trailer Cyclone and the walking trailer Wheelie remain core products, Radical Design now also manufactures technical textile products for other markets. Hubert nurtured Radical Design into the rapidly developing global business you see today. Now after 30 years the company has entered a new phase. Spring 2020, Hubert and Catherine pass the baton to a new generation of 'Radical Designers', to Bert and Kyra Ottens. Both families will work closely together over the coming year to achieve a gradual transition from day-to-day operations. In time, the new owners will use their own personal skills in modern international managment, business development, social media and creativity to continue the company, but the original vision and quality of manufacturing will remain key.

Our team

Bert and Kyra Ottens

Owners & Managing Directors


Starting April 2020 we can proudly call ourselves the owners of Radical Design! In the past 30 years, founder Hubert van Ham has built a very special company. It is a great honor to be his successor! For us, this also means a new chapter in our lives. After 12 years of living and working abroad, we have settled in a very beautiful northern province of the Netherlands: Drenthe.


From 2007 till 2019 we lived and worked as a family in Ethiopia and Turkey. A wonderfull experience! In 2019 we realized that it was time for the next step in our lives. We wanted to offer our children a future in the Netherlands. We also decided to explore the possiblities managing our own company. During this search we got in touch with Hubert and his wife Catherine. We both felt an connection and in the months that followed, the aquisition process took place, step by step. April 2020, in the middle of 'corona-time', we signed the takeover and the 'real' work started!

We look forward to this new phase together with all Radical Design employees. While the world is going through an unprecedented time, we all believe that sustainable outdoor sports articles and all other designs and products from Radical Design contribute to a beautiful and healthy future!

Romain Schaffroth

Product Design

I always loved designing things and I dreamed that this could become my job. Already during my last two years of high school I started studying design, but after finishing my degree in industrial design, I realized how big the gap is between the worlds of study and work. I also realized that despite the knowledge I had received, I had hardly any practical know-how. That's why I decided to become Sellier-garnisseur with ‘Les Compagnons du Devoir’, an association that trains craftsmen by partnering up with companies in the craft industry. As the years went by, I went from crafts to prototyping to finally designing again.

I took a liking to cycling as soon as I learned to use it. For many years, I went everywhere by bike, but I always suffered from sore buttocks after a full day of cycling. One day, I discovered the recumbent bike, which fascinated me right away. That's how I discovered Radical Design and their products. I began to dream: would it be possible to combine my passion and my job?

Today I design and develop products at Radical Design, but I also participate in all the tasks necessary for the company to operate smoothly. I'm happy to have arrived here. I consider having successfully linked my childhood dreams, my teenage aspirations and my grown-up’s convictions because Radical Design values ​​are also the ones I was looking for.

Peter Veenstra

Production and Assembly

Radical Design is a company where well-being has top priority. Well-being for people, animals and the environment. This shows by the way we separate waste, but also in the purchase of products. Hubert and Catherine, the owners, take their responsibility. They do what is in their power.

But also towards us as staff, well-being, I would say, is the most important. Pressure is out of the question, because that would only cause stress and stress increases absenteeism, so not good.

We are people, not numbers. This of course can be achieved easily if you're a group of 7 people, but it’s not just a matter of size. It is rather our attitude and our approach towards each other. Even though there is a difference of boss / staff, yet we are equal.

We do not have to adjust ourselves to the company, but we are what makes up the company. If new staff is being hired, we’re all asked how we feel about working with the new person, before a decision is made.

All this makes the atmosphere within the company is very laid back and relaxed. I am very happy to be working here.

Peter Blansjaar

Marketing / E-commerce

When I was 2 years old my mom would take me for a walk everyday with an imaginary ball. She would kick the ball and tell me it landed hundreds of meters away. After running my lungs out to get it I would beg her to kick it again. It was the best way to make me lose my excessive energy and her escape to a little bit of peace during the rest of the day. Now 37 years later my energy levels have luckily balanced out but I'm still a fanatic sportsman.

After a decade of studying, working, playing sports and drinking beer I met my wife who was the first to be better in all these areas except the sporting part. It was after this first encounter that my life changed dramatically. I took one day to really determine what my goals are in life and what basically makes me happy and 1 year later I earned my long awaited engineering's degree and applied openly to work for Radical Design. It's now that I can say that together with marrying my wife this was the best decision I ever made.

Radical is a very special company. It's goals of making the most durable gear and serving it's customers with the best possible service is extraordinary. Foremost since it's strives to achieve these goals with controlled growth and self funding only. Responsible for the online marketing and communications I cannot help to feel very proud to be part of this journey and being able to set out Radicals future course.

In my personal life we have three children (Rik, Emily and Tessa) so don't be surprised if you see me kicking fanatically in the open air somewhere seeing how far I can get our ball to go.

Hubert van Ham

Founder

Before founding Radical Design I had been travelling for 2 years and by doing so discovered that there are many simple ways to improve the life expectation of luggage, without using sophisticated engineering. So I decided to put my ideas into practice and founded Radical Design, making strong travel luggage. Strong luggage isn’t necessarily heavy. It is mostly the fancy details that make luggage heavy, details that more often than not make the luggage less sturdy. I try to make my designs basic, functional and well-fitting, while repairable with common tools. By using proven materials and rounded shapes, I am dedicated to make our bags last a very long time.

It is my conviction that we need very few things in order to be happy. For me personally I could put it even like this: having less makes me happier, as long as my basic needs are provided for. If my belongings are of good quality, they will last a long time, thus reducing my impact on the planet.

Fresh air is a luxury I enjoy every day. We are located in a rural area with very clean air. Mostly around lunch time, I take a walk with Catherine, my wife. We bring a few web orders to the post office, get some groceries and return. Even though it is no more than half an hour, we get some exercise, breathe fresh air and enjoy the view of a beautiful sky. It is like having a micro-holiday every day.

Catherine Vandepitte

Co-founder

My mother called me the wanderer because as soon as I was free from school, I would enjoy to be outside cycling, skating, climbing in trees of running or I would be training for gymnastic of riding horses. When I was tired, I would sit down with a book and my cat on the laps. My father wanted me to be an executive secretary. No way! I thought. I would never sit more than 5 minutes at a desk!

Before I met Hubert, I was a nurse and was travelling around the world, working in Paris, in Abu Dhabi, then in Santiago in Chili where I met Hubert. When he came back to the Netherlands, he started his company. We cut and sewed a lot of bags together. From this time I stopped nursing. We have got two daughters and I started yogic studies to be a yoga teacher. And now I am not sewing anymore but sitting at a desk . My father was right. He knew that I would do something like executive secretary! Well, when I am finished with the papers, I enjoy a walk with Hubert and also to give some yoga classes.

My favourite holiday, if needed at all, is walking with the Wheelie, camping, climbing or cycling. Outside in any case!