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Why no major German bikes?

Old 03-01-21, 12:41 PM
  #26  
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Originally Posted by icemilkcoffee View Post
Amazing that Portugal tops the list when it comes to bicycle production.
Manufacturing costs. Amazing is the large numbers of cycles manufactured in Germany, not considered a low-cost country.

Note: the EU protects its native bicycle industry with tariffs.
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Old 03-01-21, 12:42 PM
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cant compete with Chinas output.
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Old 03-01-21, 12:48 PM
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Originally Posted by TakingMyTime View Post
Storck
I love my Storck! However, I also love that there's not many of them around my parts. Tons of Canyons, though.
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Old 03-01-21, 12:50 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
I think German companies generally have more profitable things to make. Same with the U.S.
Like dyno lighting systems and Rohloff hubs.
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Old 03-01-21, 01:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Troul View Post
can't compete with China's output.
While I was impressed with Giant Bicycle's robotic layup of CAD-designed carbon fiber frames, bicycle manufacture is at its heart 1890s technology. Even China is getting too advanced for bicycle production (they've gone to the Moon and Mars, after all.) Large scale bicycle manufacture is moving to Vietnam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, & etc.
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Old 03-01-21, 01:19 PM
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Originally Posted by tcs View Post
While I was impressed with Giant Bicycle's robotic layup of CAD-designed carbon fiber frames, bicycle manufacture is at its heart 1890s technology. Even China is getting too advanced for bicycle production (they've gone to the Moon and Mars, after all.) Large scale bicycle manufacture is moving to Vietnam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, & etc.
I'd expect German quality to not be on the same expectations of those countries. German & China can spit out a consistent quality, but China just has the ability to be of higher production. Those other countries have a little work to do in order to achieve Chinas capability.
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Old 03-01-21, 01:30 PM
  #32  
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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.
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.
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Old 03-01-21, 01:42 PM
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Any Chinese trekking frame would be 100% better bike when fitted with a Rohloff Speedhub 14 speed IGH.
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Old 03-01-21, 01:54 PM
  #34  
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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 missing something, or many things
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Old 03-01-21, 01:59 PM
  #35  
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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.
“Bicycle sport as such” includes UCI sanctioned Artistic Cycling, which German men and women have absolutely owned since the 1960s: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UCI_In..._Championships

Viola Brand, the reigning EU singles champ, has been blowing up on social media the past couple of years, too, and is legit celebrity enough to have been on the Ellen show!

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Old 03-01-21, 02:26 PM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by vane171 View Post
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.
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.
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Old 03-01-21, 02:30 PM
  #37  
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Don't forget the most German brand of all: FES.
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Old 03-01-21, 04:59 PM
  #38  
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Canyon, Focus, Storck, Cube .... pretty nice bikes IMO.
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Old 03-01-21, 08:59 PM
  #39  
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My newest bike which I ordered is mega German like super German. Riese and Müller with a Bosch motor(batteries and display...), Rohloff hub, Abus Locks, Supernova Lights, Ergon Grips, SKS fenders, Schwalbe Tires, Magura Brakes, Acros Headset, Ergotec Mirror and bars (though those are getting swapped to Koga Denham). I will also probably have a Topeak saddle bag on there. (Addendum: will still have the bag as they make great stuff but after looking it up for chaadster I am realizing not a German company which I had been told in the past by a few folks)

Germany has loads of cycle companies amongst stuff mentioned here and more stuff as well. Kettler, Rose Bikes, Bergamont, FIXIE Inc., Fahrradmanfaktur, Biria, Drössiger, Winora, Stevens, Rotwild, KHE Bikes, Diamant, Prophete, Ruff Cycles...

Plus a whole host of customer frame builders (taken from theframebuilders.com)Also Tune components, Trick Stuff, Schmolke, Lightweight, Bike Ahead, Beast, THM, Continental and probably a bunch of others not mentioned.

Germany makes a ton of great parts and bikes. They are no slouches in that department

Last edited by veganbikes; 03-01-21 at 10:08 PM. Reason: made a mistake
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Old 03-01-21, 09:36 PM
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The story of the US bike industry prior to 1971 was department store bikes and Schwinn, and after that is production moving to the cheapest place as fast as possible, with a slight peppering of brands that started here and moved offshore too. Germany doesn’t really figure in here. I’m sure they have their own story, but it doesn’t get told here.
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Old 03-01-21, 09:57 PM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by veganbikes View Post
My newest bike which I ordered is mega German like super German. Riese and Müller with a Bosch motor(batteries and display...), Rohloff hub, Abus Locks, Supernova Lights, Ergon Grips, SKS fenders, Schwalbe Tires, Magura Brakes, Acros Headset, Ergotec Mirror and bars (though those are getting swapped to Koga Denham). I will also probably have a Topeak saddle bag on there.

Germany has loads of cycle companies amongst stuff mentioned here and more stuff as well. Kettler, Rose Bikes, Bergamont, FIXIE Inc., Fahrradmanfaktur, Biria, Drössiger, Winora, Stevens, Rotwild, KHE Bikes, Diamant, Prophete, Ruff Cycles...

Plus a whole host of customer frame builders (taken from theframebuilders.com)Also Tune components, Trick Stuff, Schmolke, Lightweight, Bike Ahead, Beast, THM, Continental and probably a bunch of others not mentioned.

Germany makes a ton of great parts and bikes. They are no slouches in that department
I didn’t realize Topeak is German!
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Old 03-01-21, 10:06 PM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by chaadster View Post
I didn’t realize Topeak is German!
You know I was double checking that because I had always heard it and am starting to realize maybe not so German. Shoot. Apparently a group of rouge Giant employees in Taiwan. Welp, If you don't know now you know, I guess.
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Old 03-02-21, 12:03 AM
  #43  
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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.

.
They're good in, um,
. That's got to count for something ...
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Old 03-02-21, 05:43 AM
  #44  
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isn't WAHOO German as well?

Wahoo & Topeak might be related if that is true...
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Old 03-02-21, 06:48 AM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by veganbikes View Post
My newest bike which I ordered is mega German like super German. Riese and Müller with a Bosch motor(batteries and display...), Rohloff hub, Abus Locks, Supernova Lights, Ergon Grips, SKS fenders, Schwalbe Tires, Magura Brakes, Acros Headset, Ergotec Mirror and bars (though those are getting swapped to Koga Denham). I will also probably have a Topeak saddle bag on there. (Addendum: will still have the bag as they make great stuff but after looking it up for chaadster I am realizing not a German company which I had been told in the past by a few folks)

Germany has loads of cycle companies amongst stuff mentioned here and more stuff as well. Kettler, Rose Bikes, Bergamont, FIXIE Inc., Fahrradmanfaktur, Biria, Drössiger, Winora, Stevens, Rotwild, KHE Bikes, Diamant, Prophete, Ruff Cycles...

Plus a whole host of customer frame builders (taken from theframebuilders.com)Also Tune components, Trick Stuff, Schmolke, Lightweight, Bike Ahead, Beast, THM, Continental and probably a bunch of others not mentioned.

Germany makes a ton of great parts and bikes. They are no slouches in that department
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.
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Old 03-02-21, 07:25 AM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by veganbikes View Post
You know I was double checking that because I had always heard it and am starting to realize maybe not so German. Shoot. Apparently a group of rouge Giant employees in Taiwan. Welp, If you don't know now you know, I guess.
Ah, okay, but nonethless the point stands that Germany is no slouch in the bike department!
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Old 03-02-21, 07:25 AM
  #47  
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Germans don't do bikes? Get your head out of the sand.
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Old 03-02-21, 07:34 AM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by sincos View Post
They're good in, um, Radball. That's got to count for something ...
it might even be said that when it comes to fixed-gear bicycle sport, the Germans rule the category!
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Old 03-02-21, 08:48 AM
  #49  
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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?
As an American club rider in the late 1970s, I asked the same question. Where was the West German equivalent to Raleigh, Peugeot, Motobecane, Gitane, Puch, ALAN, Colnago, Panasonic, Fuji, Paramount?
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Old 03-02-21, 10:01 AM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by tcs View Post
As an American club rider in the late 1970s, I asked the same question. Where was the West German equivalent to Raleigh, Peugeot, Motobecane, Gitane, Puch, ALAN, Colnago, Panasonic, Fuji, Paramount?
There are different types of questions mixed up here, starting with the OP and carrying through to responses. We’ve established that there is German cycling tradition, that there are German high-end brands and manufacturing, and that there are strongly German bike styles. The question you’re raising is something different, and I think largely has to do with the war, the division of Germany, and its post-war industrial development.

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. Many of the pre-war bike brands, like NSU, Wanderer, Express, and Steyr, were in what become Soviet controlled East Germany, and shut off from the western, capitalist inputs which drove the development of other EU and American brands. Germany’s economic recovery was not really in effect until the Wirtschaftwunder period of the 1960s, at which time those bike companies which did restart did so working in a country half the size it was, and were effectively decades behind other countries’ bike industries. The Marshall Plan was designed to rebuild European and West German industry, but there was not unfettered growth and some industries were not supported, or were restricted, and key supply industries were, in some cases, on the other side of the Iron Curtain creating crippling shortages.

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.
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