A Tour Of Rotwild With Richie Schley

May 30, 2012
by Nic Genovese  
Pinkbike Rotwild Factory Tour
ADP (Advanced Development Products ), the parent company of Rotwild bikes, also develops and manufactures folding bikes, electronic bikes, and currently has design plans to make the first all-mountain hand bike for paralysis athletes. On top of that, they produce frames for German juggernaut auto companies Porsche and Mercedes Benz. Pinkbike recently had the opportunity to hook up with team rider Richie Schley to check out one of the more dynamic bike brands at their head office in Deiburg, Germany.

Pinkbike Rotwild Factory Tour
Pinkbike Rotwild Factory Tour
  Rotwild's first downhill prototype, developed in 1996, used a URT (unified rear triangle ) design with 130mm of travel. Equipped with a belt drive, electronic shifting, and a carbon legged fork, the RDH P1 was far ahead of its time. Internal cable routing was employed to create a smooth look but also to protect the electronic shift line.

Rotwild Factory Tour
  Peter Schlitt, ADP's owner/operator, proudly shows off a magazine feature on the RDH P1. The bike's suspension design may have since been surpassed, but its electronically operated internally geared rear hub and belt drive are two design points that many of today's downhillers still feel would be nice to have.

Rotwild Factory Tour
  Fast forward ten years and the 2006 RHD P2 utilized a far more advanced suspension layout, including carbon tubes for the rear end.

Pinkbike Rotwild Factory Tour
  Rotwild's Schlitt in is office, at the desk where the company's latest ideas are conceptualized. Images of both current model year bikes and future designs hang from the wall.

Pinkbike Rotwild Factory Tour
  The simple component that kicked it all off: the carbon ADP ''Brake Booster'' from 1994. We may no longer require brake boosters on our bikes, but it was from this comparably straightforward accessory that the German brand grew from.

Pinkbike Rotwild Factory Tour
  ADP has been working with Ottobock, Europe's top prosthetics company, to develop the worlds first all-mountain hand bike for paralyzed athletes. Keep an eye out for this announcement at this years Eurobike.

Pinkbike Rotwild Factory Tour
  One of ADP's engineer hard at work.

Rotwild Factory Tour
  The Rotwild's 175mm travel E1 enduro bike.

Pinkbike Rotwild Factory Tour
  Rotwild's Richie Schley shows off the Porsche branded hybrid bike. A carbon frame and fork combined with an XTR drivetrain ensure that it weighs far less than your run of the mill city bike. Don't expect to spot this one at your local shop, though, because it is only available at Porsche dealers.

Rotwild Factory Tour
  The Rotwild S2 carbon road bike bike for when you want to go faster than your Porsche city bike.

Pinkbike Rotwild Factory Tour
  The Flik, designed for the European commuter market, folds and unfolds in seconds.

Pinkbike Rotwild Factory Tour
Pinkbike Rotwild Factory Tour
  The assembly department pumps out between twenty and thirty bikes per day, with all of them being assembled by hand and tested before they go out the door. All warranties are managed in house as well, keeping everything under one roof.

Rotwild Factory Tour
  The Rotwild warehouse, built back in 1920, is the hub for their distribution business that includes their assembly facility, warranty department, and photo studio. It's fair to say that this old building has seen a lot of bikes pass through its halls over the years.

Pinkbike Rotwild Factory Tour
  Rotwild recently started to branch into the clothing, a market that they feel will act as a future growth engine.

Rotwild Factory Tour
  Richie is no stranger to the engineering office at Rotwild, often stopping in to the German office during his European trips.

Rotwild Factory Tour
  Ole Wittrock, Rotwild's marketing manager, sat down with us to talk about his team. Here's what he had to say about Richie:
bigquotesRichie is customer oriented and knows what they like. He is able to communicate well with our engineering department to make necessary changes in order to make the bikes better. Rider feedback and Richie's involvement are a valuable part of the team. - Ole Wittrock

Pinkbike Rotwild Factory Tour
Pinkbike Rotwild Factory Tour
  It is fitting that the owner of the warehouse and office has his own shop attached, a work area where he restores vintage Porsche and Mercedes Benz cars as a hobby. Richie was shy about drooling over the 1960 Mercedes Benz that he didn't want to get out of.

Rotwild Factory Tour
Pinkbike Rotwild Factory Tour
  How many cycling workplaces have a collection like this kicking about?

Pinkbike Rotwild Factory Tour
  A Porsche tractor, a Super AP133 that is from the late 1950's, graces the collection. You'll find an air-cooled, four-stroke, three-cylinder, 2625cc diesel engine under its hood.

Pinkbike Rotwild Factory Tour
  Richie sits in a Unimog that is also in the collection and likely high on many mountain biker's dream car lists. Fast? Not so much, but it can take you and your bike nearly anywhere you might want to venture.

Rotwild Factory Tour
  This looks like a a good fit to us.


www.rotwild.de
Photography by Nic Genovese


73 Comments

  • 38 2
 In case some of you are wondering what a 'brake booster' is...

For rim brakes the brakes are attached to the seat stays. When the brake arms squeeze the brake blocks onto the rim, the seat stays flex and spread apart (for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction). The flexing of the seat stays means you lose braking power.

The brake booster was bolted to the base of the v-brake pivots and its job was to try and stop the seat stays from flexing outwards. The tire sits inside the arch. Trials riders almost always used them as they love(d) the very strong Magura hydraulic rim brakes which would flex the stays.
  • 4 0
 I was wondering. Thank you much.
  • 7 0
 I made a brake booster out of a couple of old 140mm disc rotors for my LTS before I converted it to discs, the difference in braking power was night and day. V brakes without boosters are like 140mm mechanical discs...yeah they stop you, but not before you hit the tree.
  • 46 0
 Make a booster for rims brakes out of brake rotors and put a sticker on it: "irony is a bitch"
  • 1 0
 hahaa,good catch!.
  • 1 0
 The irony used to make me laugh every time I rode. My buddy has the booster fitted to his trials bike now, still get a giggle out of it.
  • 2 0
 When I did trials back in the early 90's we had to both use brake boosters, and rub tar on our rims for maximum braking bite. Thanks God for disc brakes.
  • 1 0
 the schleyer is back
  • 2 0
 another interesting note is that magura hs33's cracked a few frames due to enormous power. they absolutely NEED brake boosters.
  • 3 0
 Shimano missed a big chance on April 1st not presenting a cantilever brake with Saint logo on it...
  • 1 0
 To this this was only 16 years ago!
  • 17 0
 Hydraulic v brakes, disc brakes, belt-drive, electronic shifting, carbon triple clamps, and internal cable routing in 1996! Why have I never heard of this brand! I know it isn't very 'DH' of me - but that Porsche branded road bike is probably the most beautiful bike I have ever seen.
  • 1 0
 how is the belt drive installed? I don't see any frame seperation
  • 3 2
 That video is with a frame separation. Facepalm
  • 2 0
 How else are you going to install it? Its just hidden at times...
  • 5 0
 cambamber- That Porsche bike is a 26" city bike not a road bike, and it is full of Crank Bros components - and that is mistake number one - even if you use it in the city, you better have warranty on it. As I commute to work on bike everyday, all year round no matter the wind rain snow or frost, that bike is 90% show off 10% practicality of which 9% is the choice of slick tyres. It is more convenient to take Porsche 911 to IKEA than riding this thing as a city bike unless you live in Honolulu Big Grin
  • 1 0
 Or if you were minted enough just to have it to look at.
  • 9 0
 For once I shall say on this site, Screw the bikes lets see that UNIMOG!
  • 1 0
 UNIMOG is f*cking dope

auto garage owner next to my old shop / bike park owned a UNIMOG, we had a 25 tonne lorry delivering clay for our bike park get stuck in soft ground, and the garage owner rolled up in his UNIMOG, towed that lorry free like it was nothing....
  • 2 0
 I was lucky ehough to run an engine crew (wildland fire) and all we used were U416's like those... slow as hell, but litteraly THE most capable 4 wheeled vehicle on the plannet... Wish I still had one, it used to be fun to "run into town" and drive through the streets. People look at you like it's the invasion scene from Red Dawn. If you've never actually gotten to drive one (and very few actually have sadly) GO FIND ONE. They're amazing. *-speeds forward and reverse, crawler AND "working" gears... All the other Engine companies used to get SO pissed when our crew rolled in cause they'd De-mob half the other engines and we'd take all the money home with us. I've driven a mog through waist deep scrub brush, laid down a few inches of CAFS (fire supressant foam) in a matter of minutes and then drove out over fallen logs that were waist high. All before the hand crews could even get in to cut the fire-line. Ahh those were the days. Amazing food, back-breaking labor... It all got better once I figured out I could sleep in the bed next to the water tanks and not on the rocky ground in a tiny tent...
  • 11 3
 how fugly these bikes are
  • 1 0
 Yeah but in person . . . they are just as fugly. Check out their "racing" mountain bike, the R.R2 FS. It looks like poo.
  • 1 0
 hopefully Richie will sort them out.
  • 1 0
 Except the porsche one.
  • 2 0
 Had a version of the RDH many years ago, liked it, felt bigger than the claimed travel then again so did the original santa cruz heckler I used for dh/fr.

Nice tour, like the cars!
  • 2 1
 If your collection contains so many different vehicles with Porsche engines and a bicycle frame signed witht the same name, then the next one on your list should be PzKpfV VI Tiger - just go for it! The bikes are really really ugly... I suggest more Jaegermeister to their form art designer - no, not to get better ideas, but to speak more openly to engineers and accountants so that the message goes through...
  • 1 0
 nevermind the tiger - no beetle, no care.
  • 3 0
 out of every thing on this the only thing eye catching to me was the bad ass unimog....
  • 1 0
 True, those can be some reasonably priced awesome bikes (also VERY innovative 16 years ago), but the only thing that caught me was that bad ass Unimog!
  • 4 1
 Ah yes, the famous Cannondale Super V copy. I liked them still though.
  • 3 0
 since when is that Merc a 1920's?
  • 1 0
 It could be a typo - '5' is above the '2' on the keypad.
  • 2 0
 the enduro bike and the bright yellow bike look nice! as do the road bike and hybrid, but that downhill bike looks naaasty
  • 1 0
 That Downhill bike is a 2006-ish model they show it in reference to the 2006 prototype. The shown Enduro E1 is the current ride. Check portfolio at www.rotwild.de/index.php/en/bikes
  • 1 0
 Good call,190sl was more like mid 50's.They did something similar a while ago with someone who had a "vintage triumph"in their shop when it was actually a new triumph.
  • 1 0
 still, the current dh bikes arent nice but im a fan of that yellow enduro bike!
  • 1 0
 So this was the tour of the facility. Is there are part 2 coming, where we get to take a closer look at more of their bikes?
  • 1 0
 this is a pretty sick brand...but they need to advertise more cause it seems like alot of people on here have never even heard of them before.
  • 2 0
 FYI: Rotwild's HQ is located in DIEburg, Germany!!! Sorry for smart-assing, but I was born in this city.
  • 1 0
 Could that be Schley's yellow bike in the stand with X-Fusion suspension? Has he switched from Marzocchi? The Crank Bros. parts lead me to believe so....
  • 2 1
 Richie is on X-Fusion now.
  • 1 0
 That porsche bike retails for around $10000, it is aimed more at porsche owners who like collectable porsche stuff than the usual suspects of pinkbike
  • 2 0
 Where did you get unimaginable from?
  • 1 0
 autocorrect I'm guessing
  • 2 0
 I now want a Unimog and nothing else, well except my FR bike!
  • 2 0
 The cars and trucks are the eye candy, bikes not so much.
  • 2 0
 Those bike designs do nada for me.
  • 1 0
 Just had to say about the Isetta 600 in the last pic wow it has a rag top? 2 stroke auto ftw!
  • 1 0
 Cars collection looks amazing.. i wish i had such Porsche 356... and a Porsche Bike:P
  • 2 0
 Go to study at SGH banking faculty, once you're there you'll need a good mindset: take a piece of paper and write: I will get lots of money in my life, look at it everyday for 10 mins before going to sleep an after waking up and visualize a Villa, a Porsche, a pimped up bike, yacht, holiday in Rangoon, luge lessons... Then take a pen with you everytime you go to the toilet and write on each bit some of main virtues: truth, honesty, compassion, humility, generosity, purity, love, moderation, patience - afterwards wipe your ass with it moderately. You'll get there before 40ty guaranteed!
  • 1 0
 Daim, still got that ADP booster.
  • 1 0
 Fabulous car collection. Wonder if Richie got to drive the Isetta...
  • 1 0
 my family has a 190 sl and i can tell you thats not from 1920
  • 1 0
 nice,thats some cool looking stuff. beefy
  • 1 0
 Incase any of you wondered, uni mog is short for UNIversal MOtor Gerat
  • 1 0
 YERR UNIMOG
  • 1 0
 Pure Quality!
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