DES MOINES, Iowa –Athletes are headed to the metro for the Hy-Vee Triathlon, and a few will use a high performance bike made in Des Moines.
Professional Triathlete and Ironman TJ Tollakson started Ruster Sports five years ago. This year, the company started making the Dimond Bike. Tollakson says, “We design and manufacture one of the most aerodynamic, if not the most aerodynamic, bike in the world of triathlon.”
Tollakson says they tested the bike in a wind tunnel and found it performed 30 to 60 seconds faster than the company’s competitors. He says, “Being able to go 30 to 60 seconds faster with the same amount of effort is an enormous advantage, especially when races come down to a lot of times being won by seconds.”
Seven people work for Ruster Sports at newly created manufacturing space on SW 7th Street. It takes about two weeks to make, paint and ship the bike. Director of Engineering David Morse says it’s unusual for a bike to be designed and made in one location. He says, “Typically you’ll have the engineers who are very enthusiastic and very knowledgeable about the culture and sport based in the west because that is where cycling is most popular. And, then they rely on larger factories in Asia who are experts in carbon fiber manufacturing, and they will use those factories to produce their designs.”
The bike sells for $7,000 to $13,000. Morse says, “That may seem ludicrous to a lot of people, but triathletes are really intense, really driven people, and they want the best equipment. And, we’re here to offer them the fastest best bicycle.”
A few people will use the bike in the Hy-Vee Triathlon. Tollakson will take his Dimond bike to Hawaii this October when he competes in the Ironman World Championship.
Ruster Sports started out making travel bags for bikes that meet airline standard luggage requirements.