Made in Croatia

Varaždin Company Introducing Advanced Technology to Bicycle Production

By 4 January 2019

The love of cycling and knowledge of CAD programming are the primary tools that Nino Dušak, the entrepreneur and owner of the HardCore Industry company, used to create a unique bicycle frame model. His project implements an innovative approach to solving the problem of constructing downhill bicycles and brings advanced aeronautical and naval technology into bicycle production, reports on January 4, 2019.

“I was involved in mountain biking and bicycle riding for 15 years. During my education, I acquired skills like 3D CAD design, which was enough to start with the modelling of the first prototype,” explains Dušak, who deals with the design and construction of composite frames for downhill bicycles. As a consumer in this segment of cycling, he recognized the drawbacks of other manufacturers, prompting him to develop an even better bike frame.

“The composite materials were interesting because of their small mass. Thanks to the further development of the materials, the current prototype frame weighs just 2,910 grams. We have managed to create a light and strong material for bicycle frames which are not affected by forces that are a problem for other manufacturers,” says Dušak.

He founded the HardCore Industry company in April last year with the aim of developing and manufacturing composite frames for mountain biking. The company is located at the Varaždin Technology Park, where Dušak and his associates are currently involved in the development and testing of bicycle frames. After the next investment round, they will place the product on the market.

One of the HardCore Industry team members is Jan Cimperman, the 13th best EU rider last year who tests the company's frames at the European and World Cup races. Part of the team is the Black Shadows Syndicate, involved in the creation of media content. “We have a lot of inquiries from distributors and end customers. HardCore Industry as a brand manufactures hand-made limited-series frames, and our goal is to reach the end user as quickly as possible," says Dušak.

The first testing took place in April this year in Sanremo, Italy, followed by Mandelieu-la Napoule in France. They also attended the world championship in Portugal. “We also went to the Downhill World Cup in Lošinj, the entire Slovenian Cup, and at the end the IXS Cup in Kranjska Gora. In February, we will go back to France and then Sanremo,” explains Dušak.

His entrepreneurial journey started in 2017 by signing up for "Start Your Own", a support programme for entrepreneurial projects in Croatia. HardCore Industry was one of the six selected projects among 432 applications, receiving financial resources and business support for project development.

“After winning the competition, I had enough funds to create the first prototype, which was the starting point for development that eventually resulted in another prototype that will be turned into a product ready for the market with the next round of investment,” says Dušak, who expects first revenue in mid-2019.

He says there are many great ideas in Croatia that have significant added value, but many of them fail due to the administrative burden. “Costs of ideas that require the development of products that generate money later are too large for individuals to finance their projects," says Dušak.

After the next round of investment and the start of production, there will be at least one more position created in the company. “Our business will be self-sustaining, and we plan to expand to other branches of mountain biking, as well as to city bikes,” concludes Nino Dušak.

More news on the Croatian entrepreneurs can be found in our Made in Croatia section.

Translated from (reported by Lucija Špiljak).