Back in the ‘70’s, Frenchman André Dugast founded the company and was very much a one-man show. Mr. Dugast was in tune with road and track racing, and to supply riders who knew the benefits of his supple casings, he made anywhere from 1000 to 2500 tires a year. As his reputation spread, he also received some requests for cyclocross tubulars, but there was a problem: he did not have his own tread. The rider had to deliver their own favorite treads from other tires, then Mr. Dugast carefully glued them onto his own casings. This was exactly the case when you see the legendary green treads from Michelin Muds, made famous by Wout Van Aert. Legend has it those tires were made for Niels Albert, who “loaned” them to Wout.
Richard Nieuwhuis got to know Mr. Dugast around the year 2000. He visited Mr. Dugast from time to time, as Richard worked for Time (bikes & pedals) who had an office in Paris, which was not far from where Mr. Dugast lived. Richard got requests from top cyclocross riders to see if he could stop by and pick up some tubulars for them. Mr. Dugast made legendary tires, but Richard would find him to be enigmatic and somewhat mysterious. For example, sometimes Mr. Dugast would show up at a race unannounced with special tires that he had made for a rider. But since he only accepted cash, and the riders never knew for sure when he was coming, they did not always have the money to pay him, so Mr. Dugast just took the tubulars back home, as he wanted to be paid at the moment he gave you the tubulars. In the early days when Richard was visiting him, Mr. Dugast said many times “my house is too difficult to find, let’s meet at the post office”. He mainly said this because he did not want anyone to look into his studio, as his house was really not so hard to find.
On a certain moment he said to Richard: “I am thinking about retirement, you should buy my company”. At first Richard was not interested, but later they made an agreement about the sale of the name and company of A. Dugast. This was in 2002.
While maintaining the legendary quality and exact manufacturing techniques learned from Mr. Dugast, the A. Dugast company under Richard Nieuhuis immediately started to innovate. Richard started to create his own moulds for treads – which Mr. Dugast never had. In the beginning he created the Typhoon and some track / road moulds. Later came the other treads. All treads that we have at this moment are designed and made after Richard has bought the company. Important for us was the Rhino that came around 2004-2005.
For MTB tubulars – these did not existed when Richard bought the company. He created – together with Thomas Frischknecht and his team – the MTB tubular, that had a lot of success among the top riders on the World Cup.
From a peak production of around 2500 tubulars produced yearly by Mr. Dugast when Richard bought the company, we now produce between 10,000 and 15,000 tubulars yearly. We are still based in Europe and all our tubulars are made in the Netherlands. In partnership with Jonathan Page, a rider who knows a thing or two about tires, we are excited to bring A. Dugast tires to the U.S.A.
In addition to providing instructions and recommendations from Dugast on the best ways to glue and maintain your tires, JP knows a few tricks from his days racing in Europe. If you have a question about tires, ask away. We'll try to answer as best we can, and add questions and answers to our FAQ page.