During our tour of Troy Lee Designs we had the pleasure to meet TLD’s MTB product design head honcho Jeremy Kneisly. Understanding where the ideas come from at a company that is as innovative and trend setting as Troy Lee Designs was fascinating and we wanted to share that experience with our customers. To that end, we sat down with Jeremy and picked his brain on everything from interests and influences to what it is like working directly with Troy Lee himself.
A: I’m 27 and I grew up in Aptos, CA. Motocross became a passion of mine early in life. I can remember sitting in class drawing helmets and gear. I had no Idea you could make a career out of design. It wasn’t until I graduated high school and stumbled across a graphic design class at community college. A few years later I moved to San Diego to attend the Art Institute where I studied Graphic Design. During this time I was re-introduced to mountain biking. I picked up my first DH bike and eventually started racing. Upon graduation I was lucky enough to land a job in the industry, designing bike graphics and other marketing projects. After a few years I was able to move into product design where I found my true passion. I’m also fascinated by history, and travel.
Q: How long have you been a product designer at TLD? What products have you designed?
A: I have been with TLD for just over one year. I am responsible for design and development of the soft goods bicycle line, and bike related special projects throughout the year.
Q: Any products that you are particularly proud of?
A: Of course! Most of the products that I’m really excited about will be coming out in the near future… But I have to say the SE Pro Bike is killer on the DH side. As for the trail riding gear, I’m digging the Ruckus short.
Q: What are your biggest influences with respect to your artwork and designs?
A: This is a hard question for sure. Inspiration comes from everything. Travel is a huge inspiration. Foreign places and experiences help to give a fresh point of view.
Q: With Troy Lee’s traditional aesthetic and working directly with the man himself, how much freedom do you feel you have in the designs you make?
A: I feel I have a great deal of design freedom. Troy is heavily involved in the design process, but being an artist himself he is very open to new ideas and concepts, and constantly pushing to improve current products.
Q: What is it like working with Troy Lee?
A: Have you ever been caught in a tornado? Me neither, but I would imagine it’s similar.
Q: With motorsports being such a big part of TLD and seeing the crossover of some of the motocross products in the mountain bike world, how does that influence the work you do?
A: I think that Moto will always have influence on the MTB side, especially the more gravity oriented products. As the mountain bike line continues to grow it will be important to maintain a consistent look across the board, while pushing the bike specific products to the next level.
Q: How often do you ride? What kind of riding do you like to do?
A: I ride at least 3-4 times a week, everything from DH to Road.
Q: Where do you see the Troy Lee mountain bike product line going in the future?
A: I see the bike line growing as a whole. But more importantly, with feedback from our riders and customers I see each product progressing to be better and better each season.
Q: Why should riders shop for Troy Lee gear at Art’s?
A: Troy lee represents riders. It’s a real brand, by riders for riders with a deep history in MTB. I‘ve always been a fan of TLD for that reason. The product has a legitimate feel; you know the idea behind each piece was born on the trail. Its not just fabric and stitching, It’s hard work, hard testing, and a lot of fun along the way that makes great products come to life.