Gates Corp. has hired bike industry product development veteran Chris Vasiliotis to the new position of global product engineering manager, a role in which he will oversee product development and engineering efforts to expand the company’s portfolio of Gates Carbon Drive belts, sprockets and crank assemblies for bicycles and electric bikes.
Vasiliotis will work under the leadership of Gates Carbon Drive Director Todd Sellden and alongside Business Development Manager Frank Scurlock. The company says that Vasiliotis’ hiring signifies Gates’ commitment to fueling the expanding market for belt drive products and bikes, which continues to grow in Europe, North America and globally.
At Gates, Vasiliotis will work to increase the performance of Gates’ premium belt drive products, develop new products aimed at the lower-priced mass market for urban bikes, and lead new product options for Gates’ expanding line of integrated cranksets and sprockets. Most importantly, Vasiliotis will drive Gates’ efforts to capitalize on the growing popularity of electric bike drives, internally geared hubs, gearboxes and alternative transmissions — all of which pair ideally with Gates Carbon Drive. Carbon Drive is the only bicycle belt system that is compatible with all the leading internally geared hubs, gearboxes and eBike motor systems — from Shimano Alfine and Nexus to Rohloff, Pinion, Bosch, Shimano Steps, Panasonic, Brose, Yamaha and BionX.
“Chris is an ideal hire for Gates because of his deep experience in the market for internal hubs and alternative drive trains, which are driving the growth of urban cycling and electric bikes in Europe and North America,” said Sellden. “We created this new position for Chris to meet the industry demand for more Carbon Drive products at wider price points and for more bike applications. His inventiveness, knowledge of global bike trends and experience creating new products for the bike market make him a key leader of our expanding team.”
Vasiliotis most recently worked for NuVinci Cycling and its parent company Fallbrook Technologies, where he invented the award-winning NuVinci Harmony — the first continuously variable automatic shifting system for electric bikes. Vasiliotis worked closely with Gates during his years at NuVinci Cycling to integrate the brand’s planetary transmissions and internal hub products with Gates Carbon Drive.
Vasiliotis has lived and worked in both Europe and North America during a long career in the motorcycle, outdoor and bike industries. Vasiliotis led product management for NuVinci Cycling from 2009 to 2015, during which time he directed development efforts on seven hub and cable shifter products and five electronic shifting systems. He also was instrumental in establishing the European technical headquarters for NuVinci Cycling in Zwolle, The Netherlands, overseeing global product support for the company’s bicycle products.
“Working for Gates is an incredible opportunity to create new products for the next generation of high-performance bicycles and eBikes that will benefit from the durability, low-maintenance, cleanliness and quietness of Gates Carbon Drive,” said Vasiliotis. “NuVinci and Carbon Drive are engineering-intensive products that expand the possibilities for bike industry growth and innovation.”
Prior to 2009, Vasiliotis directed the light electric vehicle program at Fallbrook, which led to the idea and first prototype of the Harmony fully automatic electronic shifting system for bicycles. He previously directed the test engineering department at Yakima Products, and before that worked as a senior structural analysis engineer at Buell Motorcycle Company after graduating from Texas A&M University with a degree in mechanical engineering.