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 & 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.

Esther and Henny

Production

Esther and Henny have been working at Radical Design already for 10 and 20 years respectively!

“Together we are responsible for the production in the workshop in Gasselternijveen. The work is diverse and versatile. There are products that regularly return to our work, such as the much-sold recumbent bicycle bag Banana Racer. But also parts for Dutch wheelchair manufacturer Veldink often come by. The variety is in new designs that often also involve new techniques. In addition, one product revolves around a large surface, such as the Velomobile covers, but with other products there are many more small details.

But whatever product it is, we make it with the same attention and dedication. And we are always proud to see, for example, a recumbent bicycle bag of our own brand pass by on the street. Because we always know for sure that it was made by one of us! ”

Christian Visser

Product Design

In de laatste fase van mijn studie Industrieel Product Ontwerp in Zwolle, ging ik opzoek naar een geschikt onderwerp voor mijn afstudeerproject. Ik wilde mezelf verder ontwikkelen op het gebied van textiel en via, via kwam ik in contact met het bedrijf Radical Design. Het bedrijf en zijn producten sprak me erg aan, door het werken met technisch-textiel, maar vooral ook door de outdoor gerichtheid. Zelf houd ik erg van outdoor sporten zoals kajakken en hiken en daarnaast kampeer ik graag zo basic mogelijk met mijn hangmat. Na een kennismaking en sollicitatie gesprek bleek het voor mij en Radical Design een goede match te zijn en mocht ik beginnen met mijn stage en onderzoek. Ik ontwierp een “containerisation” oplossing voor de Bullitt Bike, als aanvulling op de bestaande Bullitt Bag. Door het tot mijn beschikking hebben van een compleet naaiatelier, heb ik tijdens mijn project alle ontwikkelings-stappen kunnen doorlopen. Van het definiëren van de markt tot een productie klaar prototype. Dit is ook een van de redenen waarom ik zo graag met textiel werk. De stap tussen bedenken en realiseren is een stuk kleiner dan met andere productie methodes.

Na het afronden van dit afstudeerproject en mijn studie bleef ik onderdeel van het Radical Design Team. Ik werk nu als designer en productiemedewerker en leer hierbij elke dag nog ontzettend veel. Net als Romain liep ik er tegenaan dat de kloof tussen studie en praktijk erg groot is. Op mijn studie is het werken met textiel niet aan bod gekomen en ik heb me hierdoor er zelf in moeten verdiepen. Bij Radical Design heb ik de kans gekregen om het vak af te kijken van een groepje ervaren naaisters en product-ontwikkelaars. Romain en Hubert zijn daarbij leerzame begeleiders en sparringpartners en ook van Henny en Esther leer ik elke dag veel verschillende technieken die de naaimachines te bieden hebben. Dit maakt elke opdracht die voorbij komt een nieuwe uitdaging waar ik lessen uit kan halen en steeds meer kennis in kan stoppen. Voor elke design-vraag die ik krijg, bestaat een ontwerp oplossing. De mogelijkheden en opties zijn immers ontelbaar! Ik kijk uit naar alle projecten en producten die nog op mijn pad gaan komen!

Hubert and Catherine

Founders & Product Design

We met each other while climbing in the Chilian Andes. After several years of mountaineering, traveling and working abroad, we started Radical Design with empty hands and almost empty pockets, but with plenty of enthusiasm and a clear vision to design and build rock-solid luggage, and family and friends ready to support. We had this vision alright, but we believe that it has been the capacity to really listen to what our customers ask for that has been crucial in our success.

For just over 30 years we have pursued this dream through highs and lows, teaming up with very friendly and motivated professionals in our workshop and office, most of whom are with us for more than 10 years. We have learned so much about materials, designs, software, how to do business, nationally, internationally. We learned how to work together with other people and how to care for each other.

At some point we realized that Radical Design’s reputation demanded it to grow bigger than what we were comfortable with as owners-directors. Shortly after, we met Bert and Kyra. We are fully confident that they are the perfect match for Radical Design today onward. We are tremendously grateful to all the people around us who made it possible for us to bring Radical Design to where Bert and Kyra took over.

Hubert continues to enjoy assisting Bert and Kyra with tips and design enthusiasm. We started by knowing Bert and Kyra as our successors, now we know them as good friends.