The Hand Dyno is essential to awesome suspension
Anthony Trujillo is no stranger to the wrench, working for major suspension manufacturers since the late 90's he's been in the trenches and now produces tools for mechanics with an emphasis on suspension.
How did you get started in the cycling industry?
I obtained my BS in Mechanical Engineering from California State University (Chico) in 1997 and focused most of my efforts for an entry level position in outdoor sports from golf to bike racks. I lucked out having a friend who was doing a summer internship at FOX in the Powersports Division which he had no interest in pursuing. He gave my info to the Engineering Managers for Off-Road/Bike and Powersports and I went on two-bike ride interviews at the end of '97 and was hired in early '98. I spent the first year and a half in the Powersports division and then transferred to the bike department after a managerial shakeup.
Bikes on dirt have always been my #1! Thanks to older brothers, I was thrown on the BMX track when I was like 5, in 1977. Growing up with older cousins and uncles who liked 4x4 camping trips, I grew up happily getting dirty, wheelin', and riding dirt bikes. I think it was 1986 when I got my first mountain bike. I focused in on suspension while I was getting my degree because it seemed the hardest and best use of the degree in the cycling industry. Despite some serious downs, I've been grateful and stoked for most all of my cycling industry experiences.
You have worked (or done work) for some major brands, tell us about the various roles and how they build upon one another.
Yeah, I've seen and done a bit too much to cover it all! It's been a blessing and a curse what I've seen and done. Starting my career as an entry level mechanical engineer with close to nine years at FOX allowed me to grow and learn in an environment that required me to wear many hats supporting multiple departments. I took care of BOM's (a complete build list for a product consisting of all the individual parts, SKU's sourcing...), generated 2-D drawings for all the departments, and was the resident IT guy during the first few years, then adding on circuit and chassis design once in the bike department.
I remember well when FOX bicycle rear shocks were only OEM and still have the internal document communicating to the company that hiring Mike McAndrews (you can read "Mick's" interview by clicking his name) did not mean fox was going into the fork business... HAHA Right!
The direct hands-on experience I had with manufacturing and production departments under the same roof was invaluable. Working directly with Bob Fox, Mick and John Marking wasn't so bad either. For most of my time at FOX, there were only two of us engineers for shocks and two for forks. I learned a lot from those others guys!
Specialized (SBC) had been working on their integrated suspension department for just a couple years before I was brought over to that amazing team. Mick at the lead with Brian Lampman working solely on SBC forks and Fernando Hernandez as in-house machining and suspension technician. I came in to essentially fix the SBC brand shocks and design/develop new ones. It was an amazing opportunity to work with a completely new clean slate and with frame engineers. The micro brain chassis and circuit layout for the Epic is something I'm quite proud of and which SBC still uses today.
SBC was my full court press experience working with Taiwan for manufacturing and production. It was great to be on the OEM side of the fence to understand that perspective from one of the major bike companies. These experiences helped me later wearing a sales hat for X Fusion (XF) and Marzocchi.
X Fusion is another suspension name that many readers will recognize. Tell us about your time there.
My time at X Fusion was a result of a long history with them as a supplier for parts to FOX and being the sole supplier to the SBC brand of shocks. Their products had slowly improved over a decade and after raising their quality level while at SBC, I was happy to work with them and help move their product to a higher level. It was great to provide them with a new look and line of shocks and improve their forks so they could compete in the higher end market. I am most proud of designing the Vector Air DH shock while at XF.
Tell us about OSO, how did this come about?
I started Off Street Only (OSO) in ’11 as a sole proprietor in an attempt to take what I learned from FOX, SBC, and XF to support anyone who would hire me. It did work out for the most part quite well for six years! It was the last four years contracting for FOX, while super grateful, I was banging my head against the wall seeing what products were coming out from all the companies in the mtb industry. The marketing seemed to be above the engineering in many cases and, along with other factors, I had that building energy of ‘WTF, do your own products already!’ and I just couldn’t ignore it any longer. That, plus the timing of my long-time friend and ex-coworker, Vincent Chen, asking me to get in the bike biz with him. He’s the owner/founder of Racing Bros out of Taiwan and they are doing quite well on the Powersports side of things. Together I expect we can produce what we know can be achieved with our coupled experience. I decided to take the leap and go all in and incorporated OSO in ’17.
OSO is still new with much more to come. Currently the Global Headquarters are happily my garage! Right now we have a range of fork and shock dyno's that are designed to make suspension work easier at the manufacturer, service and shop levels.
What's so special about a shock dyno? Why would a shop want to invest in one?
This is something I took for granted, a shock hand dyno is pretty much a must have for every suspension company's R&D lab and production line. With a trained arm, you can quickly and easily diagnose a shock for errors and or check that it was built correctly. You will see every service center and suspension race trailer with one too. I understand if a shop doesn't do air sleeve maintenance, they might not be interested in one for the service area.
If they do, and want to do a good shock review and ever get into the damper, they would need a hand dyno. Having the shock on a dyno allows you to feel any issues without it being masked by tires, linkage, drivetrain and awkward seat pushes. The shock dyno will also last a long time. My plan is to update mounts to fit new products as they become available. Having used many variations of a hand dyno for two decades, I thought it was best to offer my own designs to the masses.
What's your favorite tool... you can't say a hand dyno!?
Oh... easy. Digital caliper. I am always reaching for my calipers. Whether I'm designing parts on my computer or putting parts together in the lab. Always within reach to either measure something or gain a visual reference on a feature.
***PBMA Technical Workshops registration now includes an entry to win a Shock Hand Dyno from Anthony and OSO... click here for details***
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