The Rise of the German Mountain Bike Industry - Opinion

Jan 25, 2016
by Matt Wragg  
Header for Matt s Op Ed pieces.



There is a joke amongst some of the Lake Garda locals about German mountain bikers. It goes, "If you want to find a good trail there, take the map, then ride everything backwards because it was drawn up for Germans who want to ride up the technical terrain and down the fireroads..." Like a lot of jokes, there is a kernel of truth at the heart of it, or, at least, there used to be. More than maybe any other nation Germany has embraced mountain biking, and it was always going to be a natural fit for a country that has a long heritage of outdoor exercise and healthy living. In typical German fashion, many of those who took up the sport did it in their own, inimitable way, and at the major European riding destinations there was a time when you could spot the Germans amongst the crowds, with their questionable fashion choices and uber-complicated bikes. Who do you think Shimano developed SPD sandals for? When SRAM first launched XX1, one of the first calls their marketing department received was from a German consumer who wanted to know if he could run it with a triple chainset so he could have thirty-three gears on his bike.



Inside Cube. Waldershof Germany. Photo by Matt Wragg.
A modern German mountain bike...



Anybody who went mountain biking in Germany during the 90s or 00s will remember the bikes you would see; they were nothing if not unique. While we can look at those bikes now and laugh, indeed most German riders would probably join you these days, the salient point is that you saw so many of those bikes because they sold a lot of them. At that time, the cost of entry to the market was pretty low. You could order a catalogue frame from the Far East, set your geometry, choose your spec and have it branded how you wanted. This made for a crowded marketplace, and it became a case of survival of the fittest. The companies that emerged from this era had to be strong; they had to fight for their customers in an environment where quality, performance, and value trumped brand or image. Once you reach a level playing field for value, then the areas for growth became quality, innovation, and service.

In recent years, these brands have started to emerge far more prominently on the world stage. Five years ago, few would have expected a mountain biker in the U.S. to know who Cube, Canyon, YT or Rose were. Today, those brands are major players on the international scene. If you're left asking yourself, "How the hell did they get so big?" The answer lies in the way Germans do business. It is because they don't rush, and the emphasis is firmly on doing things correctly. These companies have been around longer than most people realize - Canyon are more than thirty years old, Cube twenty, and Rose are well over one hundred years old. That time has been spent building up solid foundations, so when they set their sights outside Germany they have experience, resources and, of course, the money to do it well. The bikes coming out of Germany are no longer jokes; they are serious, capable, and quite often sold for a fair margin less than their American counterparts. If you need further evidence of this, look no further than how high the Canyon and Cube teams are placed in the Enduro World Series standings.



Inside Canyon
Canyon, not small.



Throughout the history of mountain biking, there has been a definite U.S.-centric leaning to the sport. It is where the sport emerged from, it is where the first major technical innovations developed, and it is home to the first great brands mountain biking has ever seen. As the sport has become more and more of a global phenomenon, that was inevitably going to change, and the future will surely be far more global. The German understanding of how to provide bikes that their consumers want at a price they can afford is unchanged. In a market where price is becoming an ever more important factor, their ethic of value over image is undoubtedly becoming more appealing to many.

In November 2015, we toured four of the most important players in Germany: Cube, Canyon, Rose and YT. We visited their headquarters to try to learn more about these companies that look set to change the landscape of the mountain bike industry in the coming years. For each company, we toured their facility, then sat down with their owners to find out where they came from and where they see themselves going in the future. Stay tuned for an inside look at each of those companies.

Posted In:
Stories The Rise



210 Comments

  • 152 1
 Now ze German bike industry needs to focus on attention to detail back home working with the bike community to develop some trails. It really is poor. Come on German mountain bike industry, stop just reaping global rewards and start helping your bike community back home and get some trails built.
  • 39 0
 Definitely! Mountainbikers too often don't have a seat at the table, and so few brands help D.I.M.B. (Our IMBA). We are losing access like a sieve. Time to put money back into the community that makes their existence possible.
  • 23 0
 I couldn't agree with you more, I am an American based here in Germany. I love the German bikes but from what I've seen (I've been here for a combined 5 years) the trails are lacking. If the big German brands would sponsor trail builds around this beautiful country I would never want to leave! ....Nobody has mentioned Radon bikes yet, another German brand that makes great bikes friendly to consumers.
  • 12 0
 yeah the 2m rule is bullshit...theoretically here in BW i couldn't ride basically anything Frown
  • 16 2
 California has really strict land management, at least in Ventura county. If you want it bad enough get some local guys with the same mindset together and go dig some trail yourself. Don't wait for anyone else to do it for you because it will most likely never happen.
  • 5 0
 If you think Germany do not have trails came to Croatia.
  • 6 1
 They're just suffering from becoming popular, that's all. Plus German companies like to have a small waiting list anyway, VW/Audi cars are always a few weeks for a factory order and the dealers carry few cars in stock. They never seem to struggle to sell all they build so it's working out for them.

As for the riding? We're lucky in the UK to have the Forestry Commisions (which are govt funded!!) to actually BUILD us trails all over the place! I couldn't live anywhere with a variety of riding within 1hrs drive, I feel hard done by having to ride 20 mins to my local riding spot. But then I did grow up with a massive natural playground on the edge of the small town I used to call home.
  • 19 1
 @somismtb: do it yourself in Germany??? That's probably over within 3 minutes. They have RULES in Germany...
  • 19 0
 Here in Portugal we have way less bicycle industry, and as you probably know our economy sucks so they struggle to stay alive. On the other hand, we have endless miles of trails north to south, including the Azores and Madeira , I mean really top notch trails. You think anyone but the lcal riders built them? Of course it would be easyer with machines and money to make things happen , but all you have to do is get your friends and grab a shovel. No harm meant, just whant to share our reality
  • 12 4
 We didn't have much trails here in Thailand some years ago but now everyone is digging. Don't ask for permission, just do it.
  • 6 1
 I honestly think if you and just start digging trails without permission and got caught you would either A) Receive a HUGE fine or B) Get thrown in jail. The Germans are very strict with their rules and are super sensitive about the environment.
  • 4 0
 What is the 2m rule? I think part of the problem with having crappy trails in Germany is that there aren't many places in the country with decent vertical (aside from Bavaria and a couple other gems).
  • 4 1
 The trails have to be 6 feet (2m) wide in order to lawfully be ridden by bikes.
  • 4 3
 in germany, 3 people is a club
  • 17 0
 Actually nobody cares about the 2m rule... It's more of a relict in formal legislation. However, it is totally accurate that we can't just build trails where ever we please, because pretty much any piece of land in Germany is owned by someone or by the county, and therefore the owner has obligations, responsibilities and most of all legal liabilities. Suing is not a thing in germany like it's in the U.S., but in theory a landowner can get into some serious trouble if someone gets injured using trails. That's basically the reason why we have to organize ourselves in clubs which take full responsibility for trails and negotiate with foresters and landowners about where trails can be build.
  • 2 1
 gonna throw some love to Last. the herb am was ahead when it came out with geo and sus setting options. i'm across the water and jochen always answers emails and was nice enough to even work out a way for me to get spare parts.
  • 9 1
 Anyone who says, "just go out and build trails" does not understand Germany. Everything is regulated there. And they won't cross the street against a red light at 2 a.m. with no one around.
  • 2 1
 Every trail I build on is on State owned land. Everything is owned in most any country. Its a matter of checking the spot out prior to any work and knowing how secluded you are. Not hating just stating. I have lots of legal trail to ride but if I want something exciting and challenging it has to be built. Thats just the way it is. Hopefully you guys get bitchen trails
  • 2 0
 @nickchapple Then build your own trails!

It might seem like a lot of work, but it's very fun, and you can literally make anything you want.
  • 1 1
 Agreed, the solution for popular trails is the dreaded trail pass. It's a fact of life. Pay to play.
  • 7 0
 Try to keep in mind that the population of Germany is quite crowded. We do have 227 person/m² in comparison to Portugal (117) or the States (32). That causes just much more attention to any new trail which is built ....
  • 2 0
 @somismtb . It is indeed a matter of checking how secluded you are. In DE, you are not very secluded anywhere. I lived in Cali for a couple of years. It just doesn't compare.
  • 1 0
 Few years back a few *city* neighbours cuted down 15 trees that were under natural protection....only a fine of 200€...
Just my insight of *super sensitive about environment*
  • 1 0
 Croatia is a virgin country, so much potential in the hills, matched with beautiful scenery.
  • 3 0
 @somismtb -- Germany is a lot different than the United States and Canada. They don't have vast expanses of wilderness there, thus not a lot of seclusion. Anywhere you go, you are not very far from civilization. People will see you coming and going and catch on. It doesn't mean they can potentially have great trails, it just means they're going to have to get it done through their system. As a guy who went to university there and had to fill out forms in triplicate to check out a library book, I don't envy the bureaucracy that might take. Good luck!
  • 1 0
 Exactly, @TheR nailed it! German gravity-MTB club "Gravity Pilots" just recently started building a legal trail after 7 (yes, SEVEN) years of political, legal and environmental hassle... we have all the risks of operating a gravity fed trail along with the financial load...
you build an illegal trail in Germany and it's just a matter of time until you have some kind of authorities on your case... you wanna do it legally, you need alot of persevearance and time....
www.gravitypilots.de/gravity-trail-schlaeferskopf-wiesbaden
  • 3 0
 Once again, I'm thankful to be Canadian and live on the West Coast. My German friends, come for a yearly visit, to get your fix!
  • 2 0
 @tobiwan, I understand that numbers matter, but stop using them as an excuse, yes maybe its harder to not be noticed but thats just part of the fun, in a trail i built we go threw an agriculture area and the owner is not happy about it
  • 1 0
 What's up BKK? This Farang says kapun-krup ( haha sorry ) for all the good people I met there. Stay up! Singha and graffiti
  • 2 0
 Looks like you need to start a trail organization then, my brother and I are looking into doing the same thing at the moment. People will take you more seriously.
  • 64 12
 I'm here for the Gwin comment gangbang
  • 32 3
 I heard that he's now with Brazzers
  • 17 9
 Jesus Christ!
  • 4 2
 I think he is with Naughty America
  • 15 8
 Your mum is with Brazzers
  • 5 11
flag czlenson (Jan 25, 2016 at 11:15) (Below Threshold)
 Yeah, waki, you're adult so you should know "your mum" humour is below zero. Just saying
  • 10 10
 Oh... is that right? I thought taking "your mum" jokes personally is quite immature. You need some antidote for that humor. Come sing with me: I wish my mom was not a MILF, hell nooooo, but she is indeed a MILF, hell noooo, cuz granchildren get the genes, hell yeeaaaaa, and my kid is a one pretty girl, hell yeaaaa, by the time she get's eighteen, hell noooo, there will be a lot of pricky dicks to scare awaaaaay,
  • 1 0
 haha, good therapy for holy mary syndrome, or however that's called.
  • 20 0
 Don't forget Solid Bikes. After all, they've had a WC DH team for a bit and build bikes that are just as strong as the other German brands.
  • 4 0
 That's true. And the new Solid Strike is awesome
  • 8 0
 Oh, and don't forget Propain! Really nice bikes, really good customer service!
  • 7 1
 and bergamont Wink
  • 7 1
 and Alutech (alutech-cycles.com)
  • 6 1
 From the top of my head, there also is Nicolai, Nox Cycles, Drössinger, Fatmodul, (and most of them make decent or even great bikes)... There propably are a lot more, I just wanted to point out we don't need to iterate all German brands here. This article was about decently priced, solid Bikes (no pun intended), with low prices stemming from direct-to-consumer business modell. The brands relevant for this are Canyon, Radon, Rose, YT, Cube (with honorable mention to Solid and Propain, which are somewaht less of big players globally speaking, _yet_). Brands like Alutech and Nicolai deliver trademark German engineering bikes, but at a premium.
  • 4 2
 And Ghost.
  • 2 0
 field tested a Propain at Beerfelden last year...awesome frame, super sensitive on small bumps. and i'm a big fellow so generally speaking i have to give up a bit of initial suppleness for middle range support and bottom out resistance. really impressive Smile
  • 3 0
 also Liteville makes some really nice bikes, but they are a little more expensive than Canyon, Radon, Cube, etc...
  • 1 0
 Liteville 301. My dream machine!
  • 21 1
 I prefer riding bikes from a messed up warehouse somewhere in Andorra :-P
  • 20 5
 YT deserves a big credit here because they really did it the right, focusing on delivering great geometry and thought through setups, instead of decorating a randomly welded set of tubes with XTR and mavic parts. If you look at their first bike and current Tues or Capra, it's just unbelievable what they achieved in such a short time. Syntace and Nicolai deserve some tap on the back as well.

Now to the btchn part... just because ROSE or Canyon have been in the business for a long time doesn't mean anything, rather makes them look worse. All those companies, including Cube, Ghost and Focus had always shown some degree of cluelessness in 100mm travel+ as if they were catering to some isolated bubble of clients (my crystal ball shows - a long stripe of land spreading from Garda lake to Stockholm). Sorry for being harsh but most of them look like their genes were influenced by incest. But things are getting better now so let's focus on the future. Also, from all those companies Radons are best looking right now, well designed too.
  • 16 1
 I incest you apologize immediately!
  • 1 0
 i never payed attention to YT until i saw there 2016 line. then im like "shit, lemme just crawl back into my hole. take back whatever i thought or said about YT, and quitely just buy myself one" LOL but seriously i respect YT.
  • 2 1
 YT had legit geo since I heard of them, 2011 I guess. They were not the prettiest and quality wasn't top notch either, just like rest of the German direct sales companies, but TUES and WICKED handled pretty damn well. It was a bit like with Nukeproof. Now are the current Strives or Stereos, worthy competitors for E29 or Nomad? Probably not, but Capra definitely is.
  • 2 0
 Focus made a big step in the right direction. Just look at their enduro bike SAM. It's a banger!
  • 1 0
 Same goes for the Ghost Riot line. Waki's point still holds, they are a little late to the party, while some younger, talented companies went for gold straight from their start-up.
  • 4 0
 All rose, Cube, canyon, focus bikes look like they have impeccable lineage compared to ellsworth bikes.
  • 2 3
 Incest = insucht

...insist*
  • 14 1
 There is indeed a positive point here to make on the pricing and quality of the mentioned companies. And three of these also get the service right for that price. But Canyon failed in the last year to deliver the same level of service as their products offer. In fact, the German forums are over-crowded with complaints about several-month delays in delivery, weeks waiting for an email reply etc. They need to get this fixed.
  • 8 3
 My Friend in the UK ordered a bike from them, said 6-8 weeks delivery. After 9 weeks waiting and god knows how many emails and phone calls. They then said it would be another 2 months so he, asked for his money back! I've heard a few stories similar in the road bike department.
  • 25 4
 I ordered once a Specialized Sx Trail frame. They said it takes like 6-8 weeks delivery. After three months and a couple of calls from my store i canceled the order and bought me a rocky he had in stock. And i heard a few stories similar of other big american bike brands.... Wink
  • 14 3
 Right now, there are only two downhill bikes on my radar, and they're both German. Either the YT Tues or the the Canyon Torque (not live in the US yet) will be my next bike, because these companies offer extraordinary value for money. Other riders like myself are SICK of paying horribly inflated prices to local shops operating on an outdated industry model. I'd rather assemble and maintain my own bike and pay 2/3 the price of an equivalent Specialized or Giant, even if I'm waiting a few weeks for the bike to arrive. As long as the German companies can keep up with the demand, they're going to continue shaking things up here in the states, which needs to happen.

When you've seen the "cost of goods" figure on a bike, all it takes is some simple math to realize how much you're truly being raked over the coals. I'm all for businesses MAKING A PROFIT, but I'm much more inclined to spend far less money with a company who runs a leaner, more efficient business, and passes the savings on to me.

$7500 for your logo, and the privilege of having some snarky fixie enthusiast assemble my bike? Nope.
  • 2 0
 This is a problem with most big brands. They're usually pushing the sales before they've even got a production date, if you're not quick enough and you miss the first run, then you're waiting months for the second. Or if your dealer's low on the priority list you might have got on the first run, but been bumped off it for a more 'important' customer.
  • 2 0
 @Fix-the-Spade You've hit the nail on the head. Lots of money in their marketing departments, but consistently fumbling simple supply chain issues. Also, chances are if a particular bike is being heavily marketed, that the buyers scored some great deals, pushing the profit margin of that model into the stratosphere.

Quite honestly, there's nothing un-ethical about it, it's a business and companies need to make a profit to survive, grow, and put money into R&D. But if something is being marketed head-and-shoulders above the rest of the products in a company's lineup, chances are, it's not just because they like the color.

I know we all like to think of all bike companies being a bunch of rad dudes who go out and shred and high-five each other after work, doing it for the love of mountain biking, but the reality is that although this may be the case, they're also intelligent people who run complex businesses and want to make some money.
  • 3 0
 It's easy to criticize the US wholesale/dealer/consumer model, but if you're a large company at scale like Specialized, Giant, or Trek your success is directly tied to the shop model. Get rid of the shops, and you can kiss all of your walk in and non-core sales goodbye (beginner & intermediate road and mtn riders + city bikes) I'd guess that's about 70-80% of revenue. Conversely, start selling direct to consumers in parallel to your established dealers and your shops will drop you and you'll end up in the same spot.

Drop revenue 70%, consumers will see the market constrict, less videos, less WC teams, less availability of product, etc. and ultimately less riders.

Don't forget that the retailer based model has benefits for consumers, it creates a lot of local bike shop jobs, while making it easier for consumers to access to parts and people with experience on your bike. In a lot of communities, the bike shop crews are also the trail and community advocates too...

I like all the direct to consumer brands, they're pushing racing and high end bikes forward, and will hopefully drive US companies to get scrappier, but it's more complex than just cheaper for me = best thing ever.
  • 14 0
 Now that is a neat organized looking warehouse. Got to love the German attention to detail and efficiency.
  • 4 0
 I just bought a German bike.
Cannot wait for it to arrive!
Smile
  • 3 35
flag Varaxis (Jan 24, 2016 at 23:54) (Below Threshold)
 Only takes 1 careless forklift/cherry picker driver to topple that like dominos. No comment on that being an example of attn to detail and efficiency...
  • 18 0
 Those racks are lag bolted to the floor in 30 places I bet. Don't believe everything you see In the movies
  • 19 2
 All the racking will be bolted down to the floor, have similar stuff at work. Would need to hit it harder than Chris Brown hit Rihanna to make them move
  • 3 0
 Thanks for ruining my dreams Varaxis.
And my money Frown
  • 4 0
 @Varaxis, those shelves will be bolted to the floor and the ceiling. It's Germany, the have rules about that and for good reason.
  • 7 1
 German bike companies came with a different business model. Their neighbours crossed the border about 15 to 10 years and bought loads of stuff for cheap back then. It doesn't mean that Germany is that big of a market though. Not for high end stuff at least. They just do things their way and it's just fine.

What I like though is what they have done to the market. They gave the North American Bike companies a run for their money and a taste or their own medecine Smile . The Spesh business model of the 80s sucked the lifeblood out of the European cycling industry back then. Payback time has come Smile .

Kuddos to Trek and their online business model. The best of both world! It should help the LBS Smile . Because internet has done a lot of damage to the german LBS. Yes they have a lot of good online bike related stuff, but when it comes to good LBS they don't have much. Back in the 90s I used to go and ride over there from time to time and good LBS were easy to find.
  • 4 0
 Yes internet has done a lot of damage to the LBS but rightly so.
When I look at the shops where Ilive – a town with 1,5M people and the Alps right around the corner – I wonder why/how they still exist. After 25 years of riding bikes and experience with the shops around here there's one(!) left that I'd trust. All the others at one point or another tried to rip us off and offered way less service than the mentioned direct resellers. Plus there's yet to be a positive experience with their workshops.
  • 2 1
 I'm not sure the internet has done a lot of "positive" damage only. I can't disagree with anything you said though. I'm the fourth generation of cyclist my family has seen. Just saying I've heard a lot of "back in my days" kinda crap. The thing is that in France, Italy, Spain, Belgium or in the Netherlands we had a big bunch of people into cycling way before mtb came around. Back when people on bikes were looked at poor people or some funny weirdos.

At that time each town -regardless of its size- had at least one excellent LBS. They did not made much money then I can give you that, but they were there holding the fort for the generations to come. When mtb came in Europe, cycling as a sport was not as big as it is now in Germany. But far more important it was way behind its western neighbors. Still, they had some pretty good LBS. Some made a good transition to mtbiking, some did not. And some new comers were there in the late 80s early 90s for the money only. The same thing was happening all over Europe at that time.

And then came the internet. Very interesting what they did in Germany, especially the way they sourced their parts and accessories. By cutting down some distributors or having few of them dealing the same product, they managed to cut down the price. The Veloland franchise set a good example. Some internet sellers came with low as f pricetag and many good LBS were not able to compete. Some knew what was coming but they did not had the fund to adjust and they had to close. That's why I think it is sad.

Quite a few nice LBS survived in historic markets. But in Italy, France, Spain, Belgium or the Netherlands we heaps of them. Germany had just less LBS like of that kind. Know that I'm not trying to say that German LBS are bad or anything like that, nor that I'm trying to say the grass is greener on the other side or the Rhine river. But I had a very funny experience in the Bavaria country side in the early 2000s. Me and my partner were touring around when her bike had some kind of mechanical issue. On a Friday late afternoon that could be some kind of problem ... but hey some locals gave us the direction of the next LBS but they were closing when we arrived. Another guy was here for the same reasons -issues on a formula B4 brake lever haha- and this guy was riding a Canyon.

I did not knew the brand back then, but the owner of the LBS seemed to know it quite well. When He was super kind and helped us, he was crystal clear with the other guy. He pushed him away and did not helped him at all that night. While we were fixing the bike we had a chat and few beers, and his arguments were quite convincing. All he said that day about what was going on back then in its country for the LBS or the cycling industry in general, was or became true.

From the rumors I've heard, Canyon is trying to build a relationship with LBS. True or false? No clue, but not everyone knows how to do basic maintenance. And those modern Canyon bikes are nothing but some cheap made Asian frames. You don't need to be a rocket scientist to fix them but they could be easy to mess with -like any other fancy products-.
  • 1 0
 @Gamsjaga: can't agree more... Impressive how often I got crappy service for a lot of money, or how often they lied about having already ordered some replacement part (because they wanted to wait to have enough to order at once), letting me wait forever for my repaired bike.
On the other side, thanks to LBS, I know have the knowledge on how to fix my bike myself, and enjoy my Capra Smile
  • 6 0
 I rode Trek and Specialized for a long time as there were dealers near me, I liked the lineup, and the brands I really wanted like Santa Cruz and Yeti cost a *mint* over here - the Trek and Spec prices always got to me, but I always reassured myself that the quality was good.

After seeing the condition of my Trek Slash after a year of very light use (after mainly XC type riding it needed new bearings all round, bottom bracket, is creaking like anything, has a huge amount of paint chips etc), I took a punt on a 'Radon' 29er (radonbikes.de - the 'in house' brand of bike-discount.de) - I've been seriously impressed by the quality and significantly the price! More than 50% less for the bike I bought than the equivalent model from Trek or Specialised, while also having higher spec components all round. A year on, and I really can't fault it!

Service and warranty has been excellent too - the only issue I has was with a seatpost (adjuster dial stripped). They asked for an email detailing the issue, and had a new one (upgraded to a Raceface model from the bike above) in the post in 24 hours.

I've since bought a Cube CX bike from the same place. Again, it blows the big brands out of the water for quality and price.

I'll now always buy German. (I think there is a Radon Slide 140 with my name on it! Big Grin )
  • 1 0
 I've hammered my '14 Slash over 6000miles XC Enduro races and DH, replace the bearings/BB and it's as good as new again. Invisiframe from day1 so it still looks new after a deep clean.

All part of riding a bike
  • 2 0
 I just moved to Luxembourg from the PNW and needed to get my wife a mtn bike so she could ride the "trails" with me. I was really impressed with the Radon we bought for her, insanely good parts for a $500 bike. Bike-discount.de has been a great store overall, good prices and fast shipping.

I will agree that there's a real lack of decent trails around here though. I made the mistake of buying some mtn bike guide books for Europe, and almost every single one of the trails I've tried from those are mainly double-track often with a lot of road riding to connect them. I'm still shocked when I can actually find a decent bit of single track, even more so if it doesn't have a lot of scowling trekkers in their 60's and 70's on it. Smile
  • 2 0
 Luxembourg is actually considered a mtb paradise by Dutch and Flemish riders..
  • 1 0
 Such a different environment from Seattle, that's for sure.
  • 2 0
 @Tarekith I used to live in Luxembourg, although quite a few years ago. There were some good trails heading north up the valley out of Echternach, lots of limstone to ride across. Also down in Esch go across the railway and up into the Galgenburg area, might have spelt that wrong but it's a large forest area. There used to be a book of walks available that i used, hardly ever came across walkers things must have changed.
  • 5 0
 When SRAM first launched XX1, one of the first calls their marketing department received was from a German consumer who wanted to know if he could run it with a triple chainset so he could have thirty-three gears on his bike. is it funny or ... yes it is .. course i'm smiling ...
  • 1 0
 Id run 33 gears!
  • 5 0
 We sell bergamont bikes, which is German i believe, they have some real nice bikes, nicely specc'ed. Fluid formed, weldless aluminium frames and all sorts, some great carbon models and a couple of decent DH jobs but they're just a bloody nightmare to communicate with, they refuse to send us replacement warranty parts in bulk to keep on ice at our warehouse, as it were, so any complaints or warranty has to go through us to get to them and then wait for them to send it to us, customers end up waiting weeks, even months. Good bikes, unnecessarily complicated comms.
  • 1 0
 haha spot on brother! They could be a nightmare to deal with sometimes. Came back in Europe after few years working in the industry down under. I had the exact same feeling when we had to deal with Bosh and their unreliable and badly designed e-bike solution. By the way Bergamont was owned by BMC, Scott took over in the last months I believe.
  • 1 0
 Bosch omg! Working with the any German company is to navigate your way through endless, mindless corp-speak. Establishing corporate payables, receivables, vendor relations here in the US takes hours. Germany? Weeks and even months. We never source anything from Germany. Even if they have a backlog of hard to find parts. Avoid working with them!!! It's a major pain in the ass.
  • 1 0
 My personal experience (of one warranty claim in 2014) with Bergamont has been great, however the bike shop I bought the bike from - not so much. The bike shop were messing around for ages on a front hub issue that was faulty from factory, took them weeks to get anything sorted (I had a spare front wheel from another bike so I was still able to ride otherwise I would have been fuming). Eventually we got sick of the messing around, contacted Bergamont direct and it was all sorted from first contact to me having a new (and better) front wheel delivered in a week.
  • 5 0
 This article gets a thumbs up! But I was let down by Canyon when purchasing a bike from them in November. I wanted a canyon because it was a bike that ticked all the boxes including price etc. So after a couple of weeks switching my decision between ROSE, YT, Commencal, Cube and Canyon I decided to go with the canyon. But their customer service was awful, I had purchased a Strive AL 6.0 (awesome looking at the right price) with a weeks delivery time from Germany to the UK, which i thought was pretty good. After a week had passed I got concerned to where my bike was due to no update on delivery. So I called Canyon to which i was told that it was on the way... After another week had passed i still had no bike, this went on for a month! Six weeks down the line I rang up frustrated by the fact I had no bike for six weeks having to sell my old one to fund the new one. I rang Canyon and was told that my bike hasn't been shipped and couldn't give me a delivery date and said I could be waiting up to 2 months to receive my bike. I had no apology or anything for the person on the other end of the phone! I cancelled my order there and then, the sales person wasn't bothered that they were losing a sale. From there i went to Commencal and got a new bike direct from Andorra in 3 days.

I hope that my case was a rare one because the Germans make fantastic looking bikes which are affordable and would of love to have owned one. I see these bikes over taking the American market pretty soon! Also great article Pink Bike!
  • 1 0
 I had a very similar situation this past summer with canyon. I had just recently moved from Alaska to Germany and was looking for a good well rounded bike for my wife and a spectral for myself. I had spent months researching aggressive trail bikes and the spectral was the one I just kept coming back to. Great spec. Great look (murdered out black on black). And it got amazing reviews. We went and test rode both at their factory store and decided on the nerve 8.0 and the spectral ex carbon for myself. They originally told me that the nerve would be ready to pick up the following week, but they would have to have the spectral shipped from another location and they would let me know when I would be able to set up an appointment to come get it.
There were no issues with the nerve. Went and picked it up. The staff was very helpful and they spent about an hour dialing in everything for my wife. During this time I was asking questions about what the status of the spectral order was and that was when things got weird. I spoke to a few different people there over the next few weeks in person, over the phone, and emails. The phone calls and in person talks were vague and inconsistent. I would be told that I would have to speak to some other person in a different department, but I couldn't call them directly. I would have to wait to get an email from them within "24-48 hrs". These emails would never come, and I would just have to repeat the process.
This was super frustrating, especially after spending so much time researching and deciding on the first high level mtb. After all this run around I couldn't bring myself to spend an additional $4000 on a bike from them. I had lost all confidence in them as a company.
I ended up ordering a 2016 Ghost Riot 8 from a LBS and got it for the less than the spectral would have been. The shop owner and his staff were great and very helpful. And I couldn't be happier with the bike. I am also confident that if any issues arise they will handle them without the same run around.
It's really a shame because canyon does make great bikes. The Nerve that my wife rides is wonderful, and I wish I could have resolved the issues I had with the second order. I really think they just grew too fast with all the exposure they have gotten over the last few years and haven't been able to catch up with the demand of their customers. Maybe spend more time on customer service and logistics/less on marketing.
  • 7 0
 Don't suppose you picked up any 2016 Shapeshifter units on your tour? There's a few lads in the forum who could use them...
  • 6 2
 Don't forget that SRAM 1X was developed in Germany too.

Another perspective is that bikes from Canyon, Cube, YT, etc. are a value option because they have held price points while the big US players (Trek, Specialized, etc) have insanely jacked up prices.

In any case, the situation is even more stark in the road bike world.
  • 9 2
 @Motivated

the reason Canyon, Rose and YT can offer such value pricing is because they have a different business model: B2C (business to consumer) i.e. direct selling

Trek, Specialized, etc. have bikes which are on face price more expensive, because they sell to bike shops (B2B) through distribution networks, who then sell on to the end consumer.

Their operating costs are higher, but they have proper in country sales and warranty support, as well as bike shop dealers to assist the customer by providing a fully assembled bike, fitting that bike, providing test rides, free service after initial ownership and direct support for warranty issues.

"Price" and "value" are very different, and the experience of a number of my friends who have bought direct has been less than stellar in terms of actually receiving their bike (constantly slipping delivery dates), and then warranty nightmares (especially one friend with a Canyon road bike).

In my professional experience as a workshop manager for some of the largest chain retailer and high end independant retailers, dealing with B2B distributors like Specialized, Giant and Trek in the UK for customer warranty support has been a pleasure.

Dealing with distributors outside of the UK (I am thinking of Derby in germany who distribute Cervelo and Cube into the UK) has been a nightmare with communication issues and long delays in resolving simple problems.

Opening a new boxed bicycle to find the frame has cracks around the cable guide and then taking 3 months to resolve is not good business, especially as our shop had to purchase another bike for that customer during this period.

The B2C model is very similar in this respect for a customer trying to warranty their remotely purchased bicycle. If you look at the recent apology Canyon have had to make to customers (whilst still taking new orders), what hope of fulfilling warranty for older customers, when they cannot deliver new goods on time?


The consumer has to make a choice, whether to shop on value, or price. There is room in the marketplace for both.

Personally? If buying a bicycle I want to buy from a dealer so I look at the "value" of the bike in that respect. Bicycles go wrong, sometimes from the box, and I want proper support because I value my time and don't need the stress of trying to resolve it myself.

If buying bicycle parts (Derailleur, tires,etc.) I am going to fit myself, I will shop on "price" from whoever is cheapest.
  • 5 0
 I'd buy from a LBS, but paying 2000 on top of what I can find on the web is just too much. A new Demo or Trek are ~4 times more expensive than a Tues/DHX/Straightline, etc and the Demo until its last iteration was full of quirks and the Trek up until 2013 broke more often than a Stinky, so at that matter, why pay so much more for inferior quality? Of course, both sales models are flawed, but I do prefer the B2C, although I do have to strongly agree about warranty at a LBS. A friend broke his Ghost 4 times in one year (Ghost just crack me up! Big Grin ) and every time he either got a Specialized S-Works Stump to ride around while waiting or straight up a new frame, so he had that going for him. Smile It's a tough one!
  • 4 0
 Radon have an interesting "solution" to the B2C "problem" and I think it is a very good one too. They partner with small local retailers and then at the point of purchase offer an option to the consumer to deliver the bike to that shop for a small fee (€100-ish). The shop would then assemble the bike and deal with any warranty issues. That way the consumer is offered an option of a peace of mind dealing with a shop.
  • 2 0
 Radon even won an award for it,last week. Radon rocks, and so does H&S for partnering up with them!
  • 4 1
 Radon and H&S are the same. H&S is the shop and Radon is their bikebrand
  • 4 0
 @hampsteadbandit
Funny that I just sold my last Specialized nearly unused 'cause the way the (specialized concept) stores handled warranty claims and repairs has been a nightmare. That's sad because the service from Specialized itself has always been excellent and I love their bikes.
  • 2 0
 @Gamsjaga

very valid point - and something that has also changed here in the UK in the past season, from speaking to contacts working at brand stores. Its not the brand store themselves, but the withdrawal of the previous level of support from the distributor due to cost cutting.

Warranty support was always excellent from the big "S" and often based on 'goodwill' to protect the brand reputation. I presented a number of claims that were not specifically warranty (i.e. manufacturing defect) but SBC UK went above and beyond to keep our customers happy and on the trails / road.

I was working in a UK concept store when 'crash replacement' frame was withdrawn in favour of 'assisted purchase' bike.

This meant a customer with a S-Works bike at £6,000 was now facing the cost of buying a complete bike at £4,500 after damaged their frame; previously a typical crash replacement frame cost for S-W was say £1400. A sour deal for sure, and good way to really p*ss off a customer.

They would not supply frames for crash replacement as they had been told to cut their frame stock holding and just maintain a supply for genuine warranty claims.

This then presents a dilemma for customers - expensive bikes with less support in terms of crash replacement. You know you are going to crash, not "if" but "when"...it can be a simple as the bike falling over in your driveway and hitting a rock in your lawn (I specifically had a customer crack their CF frame doing that), or taking a tumble and your bike clips a tree damaging a tube. So you need crash replacement when examining the overall value of your purchase.

Where is the "value" I previously mentioned, if crash replacement is not valid, when the "price" is now perhaps seen as too high?
  • 3 0
 Hello!

As usually a mtb coming from a direct sales brand costs less than half the price compared to a big name that asks a price for which you could get a new car, why not just buy two these cheaper bikes. Get 2 models from different manufacturers that you like.
Same price spent, and the big plus is that when one fails, you instantly have the other in your garage. I can't imagine that the big manufacturers who are said to have high prices would have you sorted out in the 5 minutes it takes you to grab the other bike. Another big plus, if somebody else wants to join you in a biketrip, there is a bike available. Plus, the bikes can be specced slightly different, so you can swap wheels if the local trail would require another tyre/rim setup. And of course, the biggest plus, when one day you decide to sell, you'd lose much less money compared to a 8000-10000 dollar bike. So, in my book, many pluses for no real disatvantage. Sure waiting 2 months or more for a bike to be shipped is a pain, but once you have the first, you have something to ride till the "new" comes in. And support from big brands is not stellar anywhere in the world. I have had trouble finding the information I needed from official dealers; orders that could not be delivered at all after I've payed for them etc.
Not to forget the stupid "enhancements" and "features" that big names put on their bikes, just to be different - proprietary parts and unnecessary complications in frame design etc. So at the end of the day, I gladly took a bike from a direct sales in Germany, even if being 2000 km away, warranty seemed frightening. I had an issue with the rear hub: broken springs. Mailed them, they have kindly provided me with all the necessary information (instructions+free return label), and also they've pointed out that sending broken items back wasn't really necessary- in this case, a photo which I've send directly to the hub manufacturer was enough. 10 days later, I receive the springs. From this point you either have the option to have them installed in a LBS or do it yourself. Of course I could also have the entire rear wheel sent back to the manufacturer for minimum personal hassle, but it can't harm to try to sort simple things by yourself. The same bike also had a problem with the shock leaking oil (RS Monarch Debonair..), and the bike manufacturer was more than helpful; with the shock being brand new, I did not want to tear it down locally for inspection to avoid discussions for guaranty loss. So they've fixed it. At this point, after a season, the RS Reverb begins to dive under load but even if this is mostly only a question of bleeding, they have offered again a free return so they can inspect it themselves. At this point I am more than pleased with the bike+helpfulness I have received for the 3600 Eur I've spent for a modern, well designed, very good performing bike. Not sure if I would have had the same satisfaction with a 7000 Eur big brand bike I was looking to before going with the one I've got. And also, there is the same time to wait for retail parts - two forks I've bought separately had to go back to Germany for warranty issues, so retail does not equal time gained in any situation.
  • 4 0
 @mattwragg Thank you for an article about German bikes that does not only mock German biking culture, instead taking a (historically inspired) differentiating look at the state of MTB in Germany. Too often on PB I see platitudes about German riding culture (see climbing example in your text), even from your writers. It's not that I can't take some jokes, it's just the opposite: your article was refreshing, and I wanted to tell you Smile
  • 7 0
 I have a huge soft-spot for Germany - I've visited fairly regularly since the mid-80s.
  • 7 0
 We want more factory shots! Smile
  • 4 0
 Don't worry - there are plenty of those coming up in the coming weeks!
  • 5 2
 Tamasz, i totally agree. Canyon fail big time. I nearly ordered a canyon spectral fameset, i got as far as adding it to my basket on their website and was about to pay when they informed me that if i placed my order today, they could get my frameset to me by 11th of june! JUNE! WTF? Needless to say the order was not placed. Canyon, sort your sh#t out! I mean, i live in england, it's not like i am on the other side of the planet!
  • 3 0
 The main characteristic of these bike brands is their use of direct online sales. The downside of such an approach is that without the use of wholesalers/retailers as part of the sales strategy, any risks associated with making/selling/supporting bikes are totally owned by the manufacturer. Higher reward but higher risk.

Could it be that these companies (and I am specifically thinking about the mega long delivery times) have not yet been able to sort out there supply and support structures to properly deal with these risks? I.e. Producing in batches rather than to order/ limited in country support. Seems to me that supply shortages/warranty issues frequently discussed in relation to these brands might be less than accidental.
  • 4 0
 Cube is not a direct seller Smile

Furthermore, YT and Radon don't have problems with delivery, at least afaih.
  • 1 0
 @hanzblix I think Canyon are just thinking "be damned to the customer" as a way of mitigating the risks - They are operating strongly to some lean principles to remove any production wastage; They only build for what they have an order for, and in their mind they have it buttered both sides because they can turn around and tell you how long you have to wait. and most customers say "yes sir". They produce in batches in factories they don't own, so a larger batch will be considerably cheaper. ( and those production runs need to be booked months in advance) To have constant access or access on short notice would drive costs up. The result is of course as you mention a slow reaction time to demand. This can be be minimised partilly by producing before the product launches, but they would only do that to a limited extent to minimise their own risk, but just enough to ensure they can get some product to market ( and some of their higher profile models created enough positive stir to make more people willing to wait - think Apple iPhones and how long their wait times have been - didnt hurt them any)
They have more than enough customers waiting for their bikes so they wouldn't have a great deal of incentive to change I would think - thereby in one way failing another point of lean manufacturing - customer satisfaction... though that does get met for those that actually receive their bike by how brillant their product is.
Just how long term their strategy will serve them, i don't know. They are shipping 100's if not 1000's of bikes every day with the majority being (i assume) very satisfied. Im not aware of any sales figures but my hunch would be that Canyons sales across road bikes, and mtb are exponentially bigger than the other mail order brands (like YT, Radon etc) COMBINED.

I have a 2014 Spectral, which i received from the first batch after a sh1tfight with them to actually get it, a mate ordered a roadbike from them, received an initial wait time of 2 months, which dragged on and in the end was told 1 year!!... despite the fact that if you were to put a newer order in you'd get it in a few weeks! and their CS didnt see a problem with that when challenged.....despite all of this lunacy , the bikes are awesome and awesome value, and I am considering getting a Strive.... money is precious so I'll have to see if my monetary common sense will keep my patience in check.........
  • 1 0
 They ship around 450 bikes a day.
  • 1 0
 @SillyTorque

all of Canyon's carbon fibre frames are manufactured by Giant in Taiwan, and then shipped to Germany for bike assembly Wink
  • 3 0
 I've owned bikes from UK, US, Canadian and German bikes. The German bikes (from Canyon) did save a lot of cash and the buying process was (at that time) pretty easy and reliable. However, to echo some of the comments above, if you have a warranty issue it is a much tougher affair! Sending your bike back to Germany is not something you should have to do - it leaves you without a ride and you can't argue your case face-to-face. I'm currently riding and Orange 5-Bar Gate - when the pivot bearing failed I took it to the LBS and it was replaced under warranty within an hour. This is what you pay extra for.

I do think that a lot of the US manufacturers are taking the mick with some of their pricing though - Santa Cruz prices are just plain crazy! Hopefully the rise of the Germans will make the establishment boys sit up and pay attention? It can (hopefully) only benefit us......
  • 3 0
 When I was in Finale Ligure in November 2015 most of the Shuttle was full of germans. All of them was só nice and educated and also very funny and happy. Was riding with some riders that work with Nicolai they had some realy nice bikes with new geometry. My friend went to germans bike parks and said that the trails was very nice bit the Mountains was low.
  • 1 0
 That is a fun race!
  • 3 0
 I completely disagree with this post. You can not generalize. Unfortunately you have good brands (Nicolai, Cube, etc) that are oating for very/extremely bad rep that Canyon is putting out there.

Canyon's bikes just break down by simply watching them...unreliable technology.

Shapeshifter is the weak link on the Strive #canyon mine broke down after 3 times out in the mountain. It's been 4 months with no spare parts. Don't buy #canyon
  • 3 0
 They do not care about customer complaints .
Canyon, instability should not be selling it STRIVE.

It has many faults.
Check, please.
www.pinkbike.com/u/rocina/album/CANYON-STRIVE-shapeshifter-Of-assorted-failure
www.pinkbike.com/forum/listcomments/?threadid=149137&pagenum=161

German bike? It will never never buy again .
  • 2 0
 I believe that bikes should reflect the trail systems they're ridden on, so i like having lots of niche bike designers scattered across the globe, rather than big foreign industry building stuff for all markets simultaneously. It's hard to argue with affordable quality though... so it will be interesting to see how the big german brands influence the landscape.
  • 2 0
 Herman bikes were always good but they used mainly Horst link design which was not allowed in US due to big S patenting it as FSR. As soon as patent finished, German bike industry blossomed being allowed to sell their stuff in US. THAT SIMPLE!
  • 1 0
 Exactly and Horst sounds like a German name. But yeah I thank that patent development often. Love my YT Goat and throwing horns 666 USA .
  • 1 0
 Herman bikes tho. Does the Munster come in XL? Frame-only?
  • 2 0
 Shapeshifter is the weak link on the Strive #canyon mine broke down after 3 times out in the mountain. It's been 14 weeks with no spare parts. Don't buy #canyon
  • 3 0
 I agree, your comments.
Canyon, instability should not be selling it.

It has many faults.
Check, please.
www.pinkbike.com/u/rocina/album/CANYON-STRIVE-shapeshifter-Of-assorted-failure
  • 2 0
 As long as retail brands sell well with current price to existing same customer base, business to consumer brands will increase price quicker than value. Increasing margin. Look whats happening. Nobody is getting cheaper.. Both concepts drive prices up ultimately, all depending on how much we are willing to spend. And yes, Radon is the brand right now..
  • 2 0
 It's hard to say, my friend bought last years Giant Reign, and it's a very nice bike, but I have to admit that the German bikes look very good as well. At any rate, we're being inundated with a great selection of high quality bikes, and that can't be a bad thing.
  • 3 0
 Please do not hide the failure of 'CANYON STRIVE shpeshifter' publicly acknowledge the mistake and recalled. It should do so, Because you lost a lot of customers and more to more.
  • 5 1
 My ghost riot fell apart after 4 months of English riding !!! Shocking !!!!
  • 2 0
 Yes, Ghost has some nice looking bikes, but quality....... long story Wink
  • 4 0
 Ghost is a terrible brand. Their welds crack a lot or their parts just snap. A friend broke his 4 times in about a year and a half. Anything but Ghost next time Smile
  • 3 1
 Nice, looking forward to the industry insights, although I prefer Specialized. I guess the global growth of DE brands will start now because of the expired Horst-Link Patent owned by Specialized.
  • 3 0
 Maybe another aspect why German Bike brands came up the last years on the US market is Specialized' expired FSR patent (originally Horst Leitner's "Horst-Link")
  • 3 2
 Germany usually stands for high quality. Also really like where the prices are going (German bikes tend to have a very good price/quality ratio). Only downside is that the German culture tends to be very mainstream and not so open-minded towards new and unique things. You can see this reflect on the typical flashy paintjobs and on the geometries that are generally not renewing, rather a couple of years behind (YT seems to be an exception). Thereby I feel like Germany will never really be the ones renewing bikes and geometries and testing around with new extreme parts or geometries. But what they will do is once other companies introduce new improvements, is make a new and more reliable version of that.
  • 1 0
 Ive come to notice that most bikes have really crappy standover height again. Unless you are pushing 6ft most 650b's now suck if you are riding woodwork and skinnies etc like we have on the north shore. Nothing is more disconcerting than having to dismount in a hurry on something elevated when you have 1/2 inch of nut clearance.
Really frustrating for women too with short legs and longer bodies. The alutech icb2.0 looks great though.
  • 1 0
 Squealing, neglected brakes or out of control riders not sure which contribute more to trail closure. Many locations here in the USA require sharing trails with hikers. Here in California that means lots of HIKERS. Marin where I like to ride is basically dried up.
  • 1 0
 Need some advice. I'm returning back to the MTB world after a substantial absence. I've been treated poorly at several LBS here in the Denver area once I told them the price range I've set for myself. Long story short they've lost my business.

My question regards Cube. The more I look at the 2016 Stereo 160 range the more I like them. The price is perfect, even with import duties from Chain Reaction. Are they reliable? Are the bearings a standard type that I could get from a LBS?

I will be riding all over Colorado and some in Utah. Any insights would be welcome.

Side note: The only shop to not act pretentious was Campus Cycles in Lakewood, CO
  • 1 1
 Dont buy Canyon!!
  • 1 0
 Do you know shaftshifter problem, right?
Too much broken and repaired many times more than the time riding a bike

Headquartered already know the problem

Why do not I do not know whether the recall.

If you should buy a Canyon bike
I will never recommend
  • 3 0
 There are many complaints about the #Canyon of customer care.
Shapeshifter is 2 times broken. last after service spare parts not avliable . now only re bleeding
  • 1 0
 German bike is very good. but canyon' service is sucks. I have headache my canyon strive shafe shifter system. I bleeded my ss three times a month by my self!! canyon should change over ss by improved product. and sold ss will be recall.
  • 2 0
 My first german bike is Canyon Strive. But shapeshifter's durabillity and Canyon's service are very poor. No proper solution provided until now. So I can't sympathize with this "The Rise of the German Mountain Bike Industry"
  • 1 0
 Good news to canyon strive riders. My local canyon official has contacted me, Canyon has decided to replace the failed shapeshfter. Maybe exchange in March, welcomes the decision of the canyon. so i will stop the movement Canyon boycott. thank you so much.
  • 3 0
 the more options the better, makes the quality go up for competition, drives prices down. win win
  • 6 3
 I'd be so stoked if Gwin would ride for Cube. Imagine all the yt fanboys...
  • 3 4
 I would like nothing more...I am a YT fanboy and really don't see Gwin on a YT Smile
  • 4 0
 Propain also will be a big player in a near future.
  • 2 0
 Leaf and Beddo are also German, but not big outside of Germany
  • 1 0
 German bikeshops should stop selling bikeparts at the price where I buy them for at Shimano as a dealer. Quite fucked up for the smaller bikeshops like mine! Enough cry cry now
  • 2 0
 Isn't this for Shimano to sort out? They are the ones that offer differential pricing based on quantity, making it impossible for shops buying small numbers to compete on price.
  • 1 0
 Lots of people buy Canyon bikes (time ago,common with the torque dh bike) only to get the parts that come with the bike and sell the frame alone...
  • 3 0
 If you guys want a realy nice bike with the best customer service do you can get. Just buy one from Propain- Bikes.
  • 2 0
 If YT start selling framesets, I'll have a Strive Team frameset for sale real cheap... not with a working shapeshifter of course, I'm not a magician.
  • 1 0
 I don't have much to add, but I tried to buy a cube last year, seemed to check all the boxes for me... wasn't available though... ended up with a rocky Mountain, though I am happy with my bike though.
  • 1 0
 "If you want to find a good trail there, take the map, then ride everything backwards because it was drawn up for Germans who want to ride up the technical terrain and down the fireroads..."
Damned, they got me.
  • 1 0
 When it comes to ze German brands what pops up is better value-price ratio. And that's it. Engineered bikes. Maybe YT is a bit different, but Canyon, Focus, Rose... Bikes from a mailbox.
  • 5 2
 I'd be proud to ride a bike that says "German engineered" on it.
  • 2 0
 Syntace/Liteville/Nicolai are all awesome products with a steep price.
But why are Radon/Canyon/Cube so boring?
  • 1 0
 The german brands have a lot more options in the "180mm bikes with climbable seat tube angles" market that US manufacturers seem to have mostly abandoned.
  • 1 0
 Fair Margin? Quality is not fair.

CANYON, They are not interested in quality management and customer .
They are just a show and collect money, really disgusting .
  • 3 1
 Ladies, know you know, Canyon is biiigg.
  • 8 6
 Oh yaaa. Vee are going to see vat vonderful operations ze Germans haff.
  • 3 1
 let the hunger games, begin
  • 10 5
 And may the standards be ever in your favor
  • 3 1
 waki you are always so whack Big Grin
  • 2 0
 Moving to Germany this Summer. What's the actual riding scene like?
  • 5 0
 Where you goin? I disagree with nickchapple, lot of scenes - but sometimes maybe difficult to get access to?
  • 1 0
 Living in Berlin, but not expecting much in that area really. But at least the rest of Europe will be a lot closer than than is now from TW
  • 2 0
 @general-lee When I was over there in November, everybody wanted to go riding. I'm not sure Berlin is in the best location for riding, but there should be something. Strava's heatmaps are surprisingly useful for trying to find areas with trails. I think the Nomad may be a touch too much for the local topography though...
  • 1 0
 @general-lee or check gpsies.de - and the Erzgebirge and Harz are within a nice weekend trip distance.
  • 2 0
 I rode some rad stuff in the Harz mountains a couple of years ago, if they're close that'll be fun - there was a rad little bike park with some decent DH runs and a sketchy drag lift to the top.
  • 1 0
 29'r hardtails are the norm out here it seems like. There's some nice areas to ride, though technically any trails smaller than 2 meters wide is supposed to be off limits to bikes too. Definitely worth asking at a shop where the good are, skip the books as they mainly have fireroads listed as mtn bike trails. Beautiful scenery, but boring riding after awhile.
  • 2 0
 Quite some bikeparks in Germany. The people who are complaining should try living in the Netherlands.
For Berlin: that place is freestyle heaven. Get yourself a street/dirt bike and enjoy all the skateparks, pumptracks, dirt jumps, street spots etc that the city has to offer. So many of them and very high quality. A fun scene aswell!
  • 3 0
 @mattwragg you are talking about Schulenberg. Was my absolute favourite when I studied in the area! Great atmosphere and riding there.

@Tarekith the 2 meter rule is only in the southwest (I think it was Baden-Württemberg) none of the other areas in germany has that stupid rule.
  • 1 0
 @KevM66 Yes, that's the one! Rad little place. We started the day at Thale, I did two runs and refused to ride it again as it was so bad...
  • 1 0
 In Berlin there are a few short sandy downhill trails at Teufelsberg (a hill which was formed when all the rubble from WWII was piled up) and even one jump trail. Then there's one purpose built downhill track with small variations at Muggelberge (google "Downhill Berlin"). Although I have to say it's a bit flashback from freeride era with wooden structures etc. Both of those spots leave a lot to desire, but they are still better than nothing. Most XC group rides seem to take place in Grunewald, which is maybe 20 minutes away from city centre with S-train. However, terrain is pretty flat there (like everywhere in Berlin) so a full suspension bike is pretty useless. I think the closest mountain range is Hartz and it has a few bike parks like mentioned in previous posts. Check out www.worldbikeparks.com/locator and choose Germany. Also search "Trailtech Mountainbiking" in Facebook, they organize guided rides in Hartz area (even for downhill oriented riders). With a longer driving distance there is Winterberg, but that is probably reachable only as a weekend trip. I'm not a local, so feel free to comment.
  • 1 0
 Hartz also hosts an enduro race in Trailtrophy series:

www.trailtrophy.eu/tt-harz-en.html
vimeo.com/131852099
  • 1 0
 @general-lee go to wikiloc.com, you'll be amazed.
  • 1 0
 @general-lee Join MTB Berlin on Facebook. It's flat here, but there's riding to be had if one knows where to look. And as others mentioned, make use of weekends away in the mountains.
  • 1 0
 Nuremberg would be a good street spot too IMO
  • 1 0
 @general-lee Definitely get a little hardtail jump bike of some description. Plenty of pumptracks and dirt jumps around as well as a couple of decent skateparks. DH is pretty much non existent other than the trails on Teufelsberg and Müggelberge as have been mentioned but a few hours drive are some great (in comparison to the middle of Berlin) trails. Racepark Schulenberg, Bikewelt Schöneck, Bikepark Braunlage and Dirt Force bikepark in Neubrandenburg are all just a few hours drive away. There's some XC stuff in Grunewald but again, no elevation to speak of. The trails aren't crazy and a lightweight hardtail would be totally fine. I'd be more than happy to show you around when you're set up!
  • 2 0
 nice article and I am looking forward to the follow up!
  • 4 2
 Liteville>all german brands
  • 3 0
 Amazing bikes. I took a testride on a 160mm 301 a while ago. Loved it
  • 1 0
 Radon and Solid also build superb bikes. Regarding performance their bikes dont have to fear a comparison to the big players
  • 1 0
 dont foget bulls and what is better the trek session 8 or the yt industries tues al
  • 1 0
 Anyone have experience with Rose? I'm leaning towards buying one of the 2016 Soul Fires when they come out.
  • 2 0
 I got a partly custom granite chief 1, the estimated shipping date was about 6 weeks after the order placement, and I got it perfectly on time. The bike itself is pretty awesome, pedals incredibly well for 150mm (better than a trek Remedy imho, but the suspension is not as supple), the main frame could be a little longer for my taste tho.
  • 2 0
 Visited Germany once, I've been wanting to go back ever since.
  • 2 0
 What about ROTWILD? Aren't they a German bike brand?
  • 1 0
 canyon strive shapeshifter has a lot of problems. However canyon is there is no interest in customer dissatisfaction.
  • 1 0
 and YT? they´re german too, and making great bikes!!
  • 1 0
 I really love my 2002 BMW. I'll give German bikes a go!
  • 1 0
 Direct sales will eat them selves in the end, big up the shop.
  • 1 0
 Precision, precision, precision !
  • 1 0
 What happened to Bionicon??? They've been in it since the early'90's
  • 7 8
 Looks like the hundreds of thousands Syria engineers they took in are finally paying dividends.
  • 1 1
 @superdez75 heard they were supervised by a certain A. Snackbar :p
  • 1 1
 how do i buy i canyon in canada?
  • 3 2
 Please don't!
Shapeshifter is the weak link on the Strive #canyon mine broke down after 3 times out in the mountain. It's been 4 months with no spare parts. Don't buy #canyon
  • 2 1
 OMG!! Please don't do that.

They do not care about customer complaints .
Canyon, instability should not be selling it STRIVE.

It has many faults.
Check, please.
www.pinkbike.com/u/rocina/album/CANYON-STRIVE-shapeshifter-Of-assorted-failure
www.pinkbike.com/forum/listcomments/?threadid=149137&pagenum=161
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