Ep. 14 – Scott Livingston on Combining Cycling and Citizens in His Machining Business

By Noah and Lloyd Graff

Scroll down to listen to the podcast with Scott Livingston.

Scott Livingston’s Grandfather Horst, after whom Horst Engineering Company in Connecticut was named, often talked about bicycles with Scott during his childhood.  Cycling was part of Horst’s life in Germany before he fled from the Nazis in 1938 and came to America.

Horst started his machining company in 1946, and Scott and his family run it today.  While the core business is now aerospace products made on Swiss screw machines and thread-rolled parts, a growing piece of the business is a niche product for bikers, toe spikes.

Scott and the Horst company have meshed a passion for cycling, especially the growing sport of cyclo-cross, which features many laps of short-course racing on pavement, wooded trails, grass and steep hills.  Cyclo-cross requires the rider to dismount and carry their cycle.  Riders usually end up muddy but smiling, riding sturdy bikes with fattish tires.  Good toe spikes are a must, and Horst’s are popular all over the world.

Scott and his family are regulars on the race circuit, and Horst sponsors a team.  Scott’s wife, who is also an ultramarathon runner, and his children join in the competitions.

The vision of Scott’s grandfather to develop a cycling product for his machining firm has been realized by Scott, and cycling has led to many networking opportunities for the company to find kindred spirits for Horst Manufacturing’s growing business.

Question: Have you been able to combine athletic interests and work?

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8 thoughts on “Ep. 14 – Scott Livingston on Combining Cycling and Citizens in His Machining Business

  1. rick


    I have a locked fridge in my office stocked with a fine assortment of beers
    Just like our newest Supreme Court Justice, “I like beer!”
    So quite often after 5 o’clock some local business owners and a select group of friends may stop by and we all workout together doing Twelve Ounce curls.
    Numerous sets and reps.
    In between our workout sets we discuss how much we are winning!
    And we are not sick of winning yet!

  2. Kim

    My husband and I love snowmobiling and he designed a line of trailer accessories that we made and marketed from 2002-14 when we closed because it just wasn’t very profitable and we needed to focus on our core contract manufacturing business. But it was a lot of fun and a great learning experience.

  3. Tom Maddock

    I am a life long cyclist. Tha ability to combine business and pleasure makes both better.
    I make a brake used on tandem bicycles. The Mad Dog Drag Brake is used as a retarder on steep and or long hills.

  4. Bill C

    As a traveling machine salesman, I take my road bike with me routinely. It helps maintain my sanity and keeps the pounds off, and get to see scenery that would otherwise pass me by. Now in my mid ’50’s, I participate in races (although I am mediocre at best), do several century rides per year (100 mile events) and my wife and I take biking vacations. I do ~ 350 -400 miles per month, and make cycling a priority in my schedule.

    Where I live there are good sized hills. Climbing these beasts teach me some valuable life lessons!

  5. Victor

    I ride my bike to work 3-4 days per week, 4 miles each way. That comes to around 100 miles per month. It’s a regular, low-impact routine that really works for me. It’s also time efficient because I work it into my daily commute. I don’t need to take time to exercise during my time off, which allows me to do other stuff.

  6. John Craychee

    I’m an avid cyclist–and cyclocross (CX) racer here in the Chicago area. I have a set of toe spikes, although not Horst’s. I also have some cycling related product ideas–accessories I made and use myself on a regular basis. Running the day job manufacturing biz makes it tough to find time for other pursuits—like developing those products.
    If you want to know more about CX in Chicago go to http://www.chicrosscup.com.

  7. Eric Fox

    I started playing golf late in life and need help extending the arc and shifting weight to get the maximum distance. After a couple of lessons I designed with a pro a machine to help with both issues. We made 50 of the machines and sold them all so are not thinking of another run. We do not know how to market the product and have it at a couple of high school teams for their thoughts (so far extremely positive) and a couple of people seeing its use at a dome have bought the product. Take a look at PlayBetterproducts.com or at swingtrak.com an let me know your thoughts.


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