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Why no major German bikes?

Old 03-02-21, 10:24 AM
  #51  
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Originally Posted by Troul View Post
isn't WAHOO German as well?
Nope. Wahoo is out of Atlanta.

But SRM is German.
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Old 03-02-21, 10:32 AM
  #52  
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Originally Posted by chancelucky View Post
It seems like most of the major European countries have some sort of bicycling tradition: France, Italy, England, Spain, the Netherlands. It's strange to me that there's no bike maker or bike style associated with Germany, especially
since virtually any other sort of high end manufacturing would include at least one German brand name. Am I simply missing something or is there a reason? Of course, Bosch and Brose make a large percentage of e-bike motors, but even
then they don't brand their own bikes.
HP Velotechnic trikes are.
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Old 03-02-21, 10:37 AM
  #53  
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Old 03-02-21, 10:38 AM
  #54  
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Originally Posted by topflightpro View Post
Nope. Wahoo is out of Atlanta.

But SRM is German.
If they are state side based, why would the company want me to ship my device to an international address for warranty purposes? I'm asking as I would expect it to make more sense to just ship it across some states.
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Old 03-02-21, 10:42 AM
  #55  
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Originally Posted by Troul View Post
If they are state side based, why would the company want me to ship my device to an international address for warranty purposes? I'm asking as I would expect it to make more sense to just ship it across some states.
If they’ve got servicing and manufacturing overseas, why would you ship it to Atlanta?
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Old 03-02-21, 10:44 AM
  #56  
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found this:

https://www.derby-cycle.com/en/company/

Derby cycles claims to be the largest German bike maker. While they make Focus and Kalkhoff, they also own Raleigh and what's left of the Univega brand.

Apparenty, Peugeot sells well in Germany, but Peugeot is now owned by a Swedish company. It's a bit like Land Rover and Jaguar now being Indian companies. Specialized and Trek
are American companies, yet they're mostly from China. It seems to be one of the consequences of globalization.
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Old 03-02-21, 11:09 AM
  #57  
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Originally Posted by chancelucky View Post
. It seems to be one of the consequences of globalization.
Well, it’s the consequence of human activity; we’ve been globalized at least since Roman times. Consider the Dutch East India company, for example. Dutch, but did its business in Asia for 200 years. Or the Hudson’s Bay Company, English, but did its 200 years of business in North America.
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Old 03-02-21, 11:11 AM
  #58  
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Originally Posted by chaadster View Post
If they’ve got servicing and manufacturing overseas, why would you ship it to Atlanta?
I was not aware the company only has a german location for servicing.
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Old 03-02-21, 11:15 AM
  #59  
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Originally Posted by Troul View Post
I was not aware the company only has a german location for servicing.
I don’t know anything about their servicing arrangement, so my point was merely that if one needs servicing, you it makes sense to send it to wherever the servicing is done, regardless if that location is the same as HQ or not.
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Old 03-02-21, 11:37 AM
  #60  
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Originally Posted by chaadster View Post
The war itself was crippling to companies; most industrial activity was deployed for the war effort, of course, but the loss of equipment and livelihoods meant some bike companies ceased during the war and never restarted.
Your theory would seem to depend on Britain, France, Italy, Austria and Japan not being devastated during WWII.
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Old 03-02-21, 11:52 AM
  #61  
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Originally Posted by tcs View Post
Your theory would seem to depend on Britain, France, Italy, Austria and Japan not being devastated during WWII.
Not at all. Each country had a unique experience; Germany saw the dismantling of industries, removal of raw materials, forced labor, and reparations payments in a way that, say, Great Britain did not.

Anyway, it’s a complex topic which you might have fun learning about.
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Old 03-02-21, 12:06 PM
  #62  
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Canyon, Focus etc are all pretty recent.

​​​​​​If you go back 30y or so Italy had Pinarellos and Colnagos and all sorts of cool stuff, France Peugeot of course, and loads of British and Dutch brands making every type of bike.

But when I think of Germany only one name springs to mind from that era: Kalkhoff. Associated with very sturdy upright bikes that were considered well-made but heavy. Either they didn't have much in the way of racing bikes or they kept quiet about it and didn't export them or market them much.
​​​​​​
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Old 03-02-21, 07:58 PM
  #63  
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Originally Posted by chaadster View Post

In short, the WW2 was devastating, and the post-war development meant it was almost impossible for the German bike business to grow in the same way it did in the USA or other parts of Europe.

Still doesn't explain why there are no well-known German framebuilders from back then. There are well-known names from before WW1 from France, Italy, and England -- Atala, Bianchi, Legnano, Peugeot, Raleigh, Stella etc -- but I can't think of any German ones. Interwar there were Helyett, Gitane, Motobecane, Mercier, Bottechia, Benotto, Gloria (not so well known now, though ex-employee Ernesto Colnago is). Germany had massive reparations to pay, but that didn't stop MZ and BMW from producing leading edge motorcycles or Mercedes Benz and Auto Union from making immensely powerful (and expensive) automobiles. Postwar there were Cinelli, Masi, Colnago, Pinarello, etc etc.at a time when Germany's Mercedes Benz and BMW and MAN picked up where they left off. But not until recently did we get the likes of Canyon and Focus.


I think that indoor cycling was relatively more popular (6-day, track, those weird things like artistic and Radball). Why that is is a different question.
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Old 03-02-21, 07:59 PM
  #64  
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Originally Posted by Dan Burkhart View Post
I recently did a build for a guy who wanted every component possible to be of German origin. He had inherited the bike from his father in law, and evidently he inherited a bunch of cash too, because cost was no object.
The parts list included, a Rohloff hub, SON dynohub, Magura brakes, Busch and Muller lighting, and Schwalbe tires. Had to go North American for crank and rims (Race Face and Velocity) due to availability, but he would have preferred those to be German as well.
Oh yeah, almost forgot, Connex chain.
I want to do that but for 'Murica. It would probably be a single speed and I would probably do tires from Germany and maybe a chain because I don't want to seek out NOS stuff like that but I could do pretty much everything else here. Though not sure if PowerCordz are still MUSA but I may stick with Jagwire because I like Jagwire.

Originally Posted by chaadster View Post
Ah, okay, but nonethless the point stands that Germany is no slouch in the bike department!
No they don't slouch. I doubt they actually physically slouch either they also know how to work and not work which is nice. I would love to get a job at ABUS in Germany it seems they know how to treat employees well and get the job done and have mandatory vacation time so employees can be with friends and family and not be so damned stressed all the time. Also they have foosball and are pretty serious about that. The U.S. office also has it to practice. I suck but I had fun doing it. I could also get a Birdy which you cannot get anymore in the U.S. not that I need a folding bike or would want one with an odd size but it looks like a cool bike to have in the back of the car. Put a Rohloff with belt drive and you get a fun machine.
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Old 03-02-21, 09:37 PM
  #65  
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Originally Posted by sincos View Post
Still doesn't explain why there are no well-known German framebuilders from back then. There are well-known names from before WW1 from France, Italy, and England -- Atala, Bianchi, Legnano, Peugeot, Raleigh, Stella etc -- but I can't think of any German ones. Interwar there were Helyett, Gitane, Motobecane, Mercier, Bottechia, Benotto, Gloria (not so well known now, though ex-employee Ernesto Colnago is). Germany had massive reparations to pay, but that didn't stop MZ and BMW from producing leading edge motorcycles or Mercedes Benz and Auto Union from making immensely powerful (and expensive) automobiles. Postwar there were Cinelli, Masi, Colnago, Pinarello, etc etc.at a time when Germany's Mercedes Benz and BMW and MAN picked up where they left off. But not until recently did we get the likes of Canyon and Focus.


I think that indoor cycling was relatively more popular (6-day, track, those weird things like artistic and Radball). Why that is is a different question.
I think it does explain it pretty well. What do you propose as a more likely explanation?
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Old 03-03-21, 01:00 AM
  #66  
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Originally Posted by chaadster View Post
I think it does explain it pretty well. What do you propose as a more likely explanation?
I don't have one. But an explanation using post-WWII devastation to explain a lack of prominent framebuilders isn't going to cut much ice pre-WWII.
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Old 03-03-21, 07:13 AM
  #67  
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Originally Posted by sincos View Post
I don't have one. But an explanation using post-WWII devastation to explain a lack of prominent framebuilders isn't going to cut much ice pre-WWII.
I wasn’t attempting to cut pre-WW2 ice, which no one is talking about anyway. If you’d like to share your insights on pre-WW2 Germany’s bike industry, please do.
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Old 03-03-21, 08:38 AM
  #68  
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Originally Posted by Troul View Post
cant compete with Chinas output.
Output - never considered that a benefit - Does volume output make for a better bicycle ride?



Also some German artisan producers from the past.


Hugo Rickert, 1959-ish, sloping top tube, endurance geometry, lightweight tourer.
Still a project. but will be ready soon.
Spring is coming to a Northern clime near me.
Or turn the dropout adjusters, skinny tires and have an all-day racer.

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Old 03-03-21, 09:41 AM
  #69  
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Originally Posted by chaadster View Post
I think it does explain it pretty well. What do you propose as a more likely explanation?
One possibility is they became a bit too obsessed with cars, being pioneers of motorways, and having a lot of very strong car-manufacturing going on.
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Old 03-03-21, 11:10 AM
  #70  
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Originally Posted by guy153 View Post
One possibility is they became a bit too obsessed with cars, being pioneers of motorways, and having a lot of very strong car-manufacturing going on.
That’s part-and-parcel of what I’m talking about. One cannot talk about a nation becoming “obsessed” about something as a stand-alone idea; to the extent such a thing could be true or have any meaning is closely tied to economic and social conditions, which in this case are the post war conditions I’ve been talking about. Any kind of German “obsession” with cars would not and could not have happened without the Marshall Plan. Consider the competing Morgenthau Plan, and that becomes quite clear.

Further, German automotive manufacturing was not strong until, as I mentioned earlier, the Wirtschaftwunder period, and it was really only VW powering that sector until the ‘50s. For reference, consider that VW, as the largest W. German manufacturer in 1950, made ~90k cars, while US car production was ~58 million. Within the context of the Marshall Plan, which had among its primary goals making the German market amenable to US business, it’s easy to imagine how, as companies like Webasto—which today make auto parts and were in the bike parts business from at least 1914 to 1955– mention in their history, that it was simply unprofitable to be in the bike biz in 1955, because of economic factors favoring auto industry. Were materials shortages and cost inflation of steel from allocation and preference to heavy industry and infrastructure rebuilding in preceeding years part of that lack of profitability in the bike sector? I’m no expert, but it certainly seems extremely likely.
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Old 03-03-21, 08:15 PM
  #71  
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Come on guys.
Admit it.
We just don't get around much if German engineering doesn't appeal to us in some sensory way.
Fast cars with good power designed for stable speed, fast roads on which to drive them.
I've always admired a well made German frame myself.


Kalkhoff, model and vintage unknown, but well over 18years.

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Old 03-03-21, 10:44 PM
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And just across the German border there's Puch/AustroDaimler


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Old 03-04-21, 03:06 AM
  #73  
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Originally Posted by chancelucky View Post
It seems like most of the major European countries have some sort of bicycling tradition: France, Italy, England, Spain, the Netherlands. It's strange to me that there's no bike maker or bike style associated with Germany, especially
since virtually any other sort of high end manufacturing would include at least one German brand name. Am I simply missing something or is there a reason? Of course, Bosch and Brose make a large percentage of e-bike motors, but even
then they don't brand their own bikes.
You just don't know them.

Canyon, Cube, Focus are all German.
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Old 03-04-21, 03:11 AM
  #74  
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Originally Posted by vane171 View Post
This has to do with the bicycle sport as such in the respective countries. If you look at the history of the sport, in movie documentaries, magazines, newspaper coverage of races, Germany simply doesn't figure.

I recall that in one of the last few TDF races, there was some talk about German riders, if they are successful, it might lead to having their own country team with German sponsor(s), which I take it, they don't have and didn't so far. It all has to do with overall German population enthusiasm for the bike sport.

Sure, some stellar performance of German riders in European races, best on home turf in Germany might or would lead to some rise of bicycling sport there, but all the same, it is doubtful that sporting base of a country could rest on such successes that of necessity come and go, are fleeting. In Italy, France, even if their riders sometimes don't figure in front positions too often, or even for extended period, it doesn't affect the general public enthusiasm for the sport. They are taken by the suffering, the heroism, no matter if the riders are not wining, they have respect for them all. It is simply not like that in Germany.
Bora-Hansgrohe, DSM (formerly Sunweb) are both World Tour teams that are German.
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Old 03-04-21, 12:06 PM
  #75  
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Originally Posted by Eric F View Post
Not at all true.

There are currently 12 pro cycling teams based in Germany (and have been many others over many years), including current World Tour teams Bora-Hansgrohe and Team DSM. There are currently 34 German riders on World Tour teams, including notable names like Andre Greipel, Tony Martin, and John Degenkolb. Jan Ulrich won the Tour de France while riding for Telekom - German rider on a German team.
What I wrote is not from my head, I am not that much die hard pro biking scene follower. That was the view taken by the TV commentators of the major pro races that caught my interest at the time. I am aware of all those names and teams you mention and of course the TV commentators too. I think it had to do with Germany not having their own big race(s) and popular home base for cycling and it being way richer economically than other EU countries. Like no one expects anything from its small neighboring countries, Czechs and Slovaks, whose talents have to leave and find place on some other countries, teams, sponsors (Sagan, Kreuziger, Stybar).
Prague also might host opening TDF stage one day like Germany did several times in past but that is about as far as it may go.

That the thread like this one was made in the first place is indicative of the general perception and it wouldn't exist if things were 'ALL RIGHT' in this direction as your reply would seem to indicate. When you say Italy, you can say in second breath Campagnolo bikes, Ferrari cars, when you say Germany, you can say Mercedes but you can't cite an iconic bike manufacture. And that is what this is about.

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