Dambusters to Dampers | Flotec Suspension | Taj Hendry Interview.

Off the main street of the sleepy town of Dunkeld is an old coal shed where the magic happens. Flotec Suspension are based here and lend an expert hand to poorly dampers.

Beyond the suspension fettling though, the stack of hand tools in the corner are well-worn from creating ribbons of sublime madness in the hills above the River Tay.

Pete paid Taj and Jules at Flotec Suspension a visit for a tune up of his long term test Kili Flyer, a sample of their handiwork in the woods and to see what goes on in the coal shed.

Who is Taj Hendry?

Not sure how to answer this…

What’s your background in fettling?

It probably all started when I was very young. I was a mad keen lego fanatic and would spend hours building up the kits, then taking them apart and rebuilding them with my own improved design. I soon moved on to bigger and better things when my dad treated me to a Briggs & Stratton lawn mower engine from the skip. He explained to me how an engine worked and together we stripped and re built it. This was the start of many years of mechanical exploration. During this time I was also doing a lot of BMX and trials riding which meant I spent a lot of time fixing the bikes that I would break.Taj Hendry Flotec Suspension Dunkeld Fox Racing Shox UCI Downhill World Cup Enduro World Series WideopenmagAfter school I joined the RAF and spent 6 years as a weapons technicians on 617 squadron, The Dam Busters, working on Tornado GR4s. I guess that’s where I did my most serious fettling. When I left the RAF I worked as a mechanic in various bike shops around Edinburgh and got into mountain biking.

Why did you decide to start Flotec?

While working in the bike shops was servicing customers suspension. With my background working on planes I really enjoyed the process and wanted to learn more and more. I thought that I could offer people a better service if I was dedicated to just suspension and decided to start Flotec. 6 years later and Flotec has grown from a bench in the spare room and servicing in the evenings after work to an industrial sized shed and a thriving business.

How did the gig with Fox gig come about?

I first met the guys from Fox last year when I was spannering for the Cube Action Team at a few rounds of the EWS. The pits at these races are like a big family and we spent a lot of time chatting about suspension and bikes. They got in touch over winter to see if I’d be keen to work for them this year at some of the European rounds of the EWS and DH World Cup. Obviously I jumped at the chance! I’m heading out to World Champs with them next month which I’m really excited about and hopefully they will need me for a few rounds 2017 too.

Taj Hendry Flotec Suspension Dunkeld Fox Racing Shox UCI Downhill World Cup Enduro World Series Wideopenmag

What does Flotec offer that others can’t?

At Flotec we try to offer a more all-round service. You can drop your items off in person, have a chat about any issues and get expert advice. We can then return your items to you free of charge after their service. We also have a collection service to save that hassle of organising a courier yourself. We have forks and shocks available to demo and plan to offer courtesy bikes for same day service customers soon too.

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What would your one piece of advice be for riders looking to improve their suspension performance?
I know it sounds obvious but I would advise folk to get their suspension serviced regularly. A majority of performance issues we see in the workshop are fixed by a simple service.

How can you help a rider get the best from their suspension?

It is worth taking bit of time to make sure you have your setup just right. I see a lot of people struggling on the trails due to a poor setup when a few small adjustments could make a massive difference to their enjoyment. We offer a setup service taking the guesswork out of this process.Taj Hendry Flotec Suspension Dunkeld Fox Racing Shox UCI Downhill World Cup Enduro World Series Wideopenmag

Is the new shed up and running?

Yes, we have recently moved into our new premises in Dunkeld… the biggest shed in the village! It’s great because we have much more space, which means we can have a large dedicated suspension workshop as well as a space for working on bikes and lots more bike storage. Our old workshop was so small that if a few customers dropped off bikes for us to remove the suspension from you couldn’t get to the toilet or out the front door.

What does, for example, a standard service on a Fox 34 cost?

A standard service on a Fox 34 (with a FIT damper) would cost £84. More information and pricing is available on our website.Taj Hendry Flotec Suspension Dunkeld Fox Racing Shox UCI Downhill World Cup Enduro World Series Wideopenmag

Can you do custom tunes?

Yes. We can do pretty much anything you want to your suspension from a simple service to a full damper re-tune or upgrading to the latest internals.

What’s your turnaround?

We usually get stuff turned around within 24 hours of receiving it, however if you arrange it in advance we can offer a same day service.

How did you come to be based at Dunkeld?

I came to Dunkeld for a night out a few years backs and met a girl… The trails here are pretty good too!

For all things Flotec Suspension, head over to their website, where you’ll find their shop, service details, booking forms, FAQs and more.