Employee Appreciation!


Compass Bicycles Ltd. is a small company. What we may lack in size, we make up with passion. And we love our employees – they truly are outstanding!

Theo, shown above crossing a stream, is our new hire as Compass Bicycle’s general manager. Theo gets to field customer questions and comments. He makes sure the hundreds of products we sell actually are in stock, maintains our ordering system, etc. He also assembles the Compass brakes and builds René Herse cranks with the individual chainring sizes for our customers. Theo has been a randonneur for most of his adult life, and he is as familiar with our products as anybody. We’ve known him for years, and we are excited that he is working with us now!


Clark has been the man who gets your orders filled, answers your subscription questions, and gets Bicycle Quarterly mailed out to all four corners of the earth. Every box of Compass components you receive, every envelope of back issues, every book, all have been carefully packed by him. Clark enjoys the goings-on at Compass Bicycles, but his passion is his boat. Perhaps even more than we look forward to a big ride, he looks forward to the fishing season out here on the Puget Sound.

There are many others who contribute to our success, whether it’s Stefan, our German engineer in Taiwan; Hahn, whose machine shop serves as our prototyping facility (and who builds Rossman bicycles); as well many subcontractors. On the Bicycle Quarterly team, there are proof readers, copy editors, color specialists and many more. They all take great pride in their work, and they are instrumental in everything we do.

About Jan Heine, Editor, Bicycle Quarterly

Spirited rides that zig-zag across mountain ranges. Bicycle Quarterly magazine and its sister company, Compass Cycles, that turns our research into the high-performance components we need for our adventures.
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10 Responses to Employee Appreciation!

  1. Mark Schneider says:

    I agree, you have great employees. I had an order once with a minor error. It was fixed within days and I ended up with a free tube that I offered to pay for, but Clark wouldn’t here of it. Your service is fast, and the products are great.

    • It goes both ways. Clark says that we have the nicest customers in the world.

      • marmotte27 says:

        It must be that customers feel respected by you, they get the impression that you don’t sell them products that are compromised in any way, that you don’t sell marketing instead of facts, that your business behaviour seems to be entirely ethical. I only hope your way of doing business will survive and even spread to other companies.

  2. adventurepdx says:

    Theo is a great guy. Glad you have him on board!

  3. Florent says:

    I followed Theo’s flickr since few years, glad he’s a part of the Compass team! 🙂

  4. Theo is one of the nicest guys I’ve ever met and I found his welcoming demeanor and younger age inspirational to becoming more seriously interested in Randonneuring. I hope that he is the start to a wave of younger cyclists keeping the sport alive for years to come.
    Thanks for bringing him to Seattle!

  5. David Pearce says:

    Dear Jan (and Team!),

    Interesting how minds think alike some times. I received the Spring 2015 BQ just the other day, and began musing on your business operation. It’s a lot!!

    Tongue-in-cheek, I call you and your businesses it a “triple-threat,” for the blog, the magazine, and the components.

    Then, in your “From the Editor” letter for this issue, you say that things, even great things, cannot remain static, “The future is now…”. And now the blog brings up Employee Appreciation, and that’s where my thoughts and yours seem to coincide, or anyway, I have a question.

    Have you had to hire someone, a COO, Chief Operating Officer, to keep an eye on all the business operations, while you and your staff are out testing bikes, prototyping parts, participating in rides, and being a parent?

    You’re a lot more mature than, say, Mark Zuckerberg; He eventually realized he needed an older person in the role of COO, and selected Sheryl Sandberg. You don’t need to do that: you already know what you’re doing. But I was just musing, how do you keep all those “moving parts” that make up your companies adjusted, and working the best? Do you have a COO now, or do you think you need one for the future? Or perhaps you might discuss bicycle constructeurs’ business management practices in general, and if there are any sort of “factory specific” business practices which are different from other businesses.

    And hats off to all your great staff and team. You all make the world a better place!

    • We are a very small company, and don’t intend to grow into something big. We enjoy what we are doing, and there isn’t really much need for a COO, nor enough money to pay one. Theo as a general manager already will take on much of that role, allowing me to focus on product development and writing Bicycle Quarterly and future book projects.

  6. Mikko says:

    The important question: what bikes do they ride?

  7. Michael says:

    I have always experienced excellent, and pleasant customer service from the BQ/Compass staff.
    I look forward to their future cycling offerings. They are reputable and trustworthy, and that is very important to me for making online purchases.

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