Keith Bontrager once said that everyone who builds or designs bikes, or parts and accessories, should spend a year in the Netherlands.
I can't help but to wonder what my Race-Lite would have been like had he followed his own advice. I liked it a lot; I sold it only because I'd stopped mountain biking and wanted it to have a good home, if you will.
In fact, I wonder what all of his parts--especially his wheels--would have been like. To his credit, his designs were functional: He had no concern for fads or trends, and he cared nothing for aesthetics (though some of his stuff is very attractive). Also, he had no interest in, as he said, making "lifestyle" products and had no intention of releasing a line of leisure wear with his name on it.
In some weird way, I think the mountain bike maven from Santa Cruz, CA would have been right at home in this milieu: