Round Up: 10 Little-Known German Manufacturers Making Exciting Stuff

Jan 7, 2020
by Dan Roberts  




There’s something hypnotic about watching swarf and chips form around a cutter while it goes about its job of shaping metal into something purposeful. Or even the process of laying up multiple pieces of carbon to form a recognizable shape that eventually emerges from a mold greater than the sum of its parts. And there’s an unspoken respect for the people who know how to turn something raw into something with purpose. Especially when that purpose it to go out and get ridden. Blue collar knowledge is worth its weight in gold.

Living in the shadow of the giants lie some smaller, but not necessarily inferior, companies that manufacture in-house. Some are boutique, some are pretty quiet and let the products do the talking, and others push the boundaries with new ideas and details that could go unseen to the untrained eye, but that make the products perform so damn well. Europe houses a hive of brands that do exactly this and manufacture in house. Actually, it's such a hive that as during the creation of this list we discovered ten-fold more brands that could grace it. So in our first look at these lesser known brands, here are 10 German companies that manufacture in house and that caught our eye.




NEWMEN

Newmen Components First Look String spokes

Newmen Components First Look Evolution Wheelset A.30 Rim Profile
Newmen flare out the rim flanges to align them better with impact forces.
Newmen Components First Look Evolution 318.2 stem
Their 2 bolt stems are crazy light.

Based out of Wiggensbach, Germany, Newmen are component manufacturers with an attention to detail and testing that leave others with a lot to be desired. Newman’s history stems from similarly well engineered brands with Michael Grätz at the helm, who was previously at Liteville and Syntace.

Wheels, stems, bars and seat posts all come out from this brand, often with a slightly different view of how to make a product perform at its best.

Their rims have a profile that angles the sidewalls out, rather than the norm of vertical, to better align them with incoming forces from impacts. Their wheels also include washers between the nipples and rim to distribute the spoke force evenly around the spoke hole and also align the nipple and spoke directly to the hub flange.

Stems are often overlooked as to how much engineering goes into them. But I can tell you from experience that they have more development in them than meets the eye. Way more. Newmen’s stems are engineered to within an inch of their life and with weights as low as 69 grams it shows.

They manufacture using aluminum and carbon fiber composites, and also complete copious amounts of in-house testing to validate their designs and products. They’re also very open about their testing methods and show in detail what they do to their components to make sure they’re up to scratch and also perform with a designed amount of flex. It’s nice to see behind the curtain like this, and it evokes confidence in their products.

They also think completely outside of the box with ideas such as fabric spokes and tiny stickers to convert your Torque Cap RockShox forks to a standard end cap system to improve ease of use.

Newmen's website.




HOPP

Hopp Carbon Adjusters

Hopp Mech Detail
Carbon mech parts to drop the weight.
Hopp Carbon Parts
Hopp replace current parts with lightweight carbon replicas.

Hopp are a very niche brand from Oranienburg, Germany, close to Berlin. Their niche is carbon parts, and if you’re wanting to take your bike upgrading up a notch then look no further.

With rapid development speed, they offer replacement small parts for suspension, drivetrains and frames made from short fiber composites. And when we say small parts, we mean suspension adjuster and mech hanger small. In most cases their parts weigh in at half the weight of the standard parts.

They’ve been around for long enough to now offer complete derailleurs for SRAM and Shimano that replace all the knuckles and cage with their own composite parts. And frankly they’re sodding beautiful, reminiscent of Lamborghini’s Forged Carbon parts.

As is usually the case with bike upgrades, the diminishing returns on parts like this are there. If you’re into counting grams then these parts should definitely help on your bike’s weight spreadsheet. I imagine you’re using a spreadsheet if you’re this serious about it?

Hopp's website.





INTEND

Intend Infinity fork review

Intend Shock
Intend's Hover shock.
Intend Machining Chamfer Tech
Their tech part of the website goes into incredible detail about the design of their parts. Here, explaining machining chamfers.

Secretly, Intend wins the award for coolest owner’s name. Cornelius Kapfinger’s German brand is a gem that, like Newmen, take a few steps to the side for a different perspective when developing their products.

With components ranging from suspension to headsets, it really shows their ability to apply technical thought to differing situations. And they aren’t afraid to show their working out either, with in depth tech features on most of their components showing CAD drawings, stress plots and graphs galore. If you like geeking out then it’s definitely worth a peruse. Who doesn’t love a cross section?

Perhaps now most known for their upside-down Edge, Infinity and Hero forks, they also make a wild looking air shock, headsets to improve stiffness issues encountered with single crown forks, beautifully machined two clamp bolt stems with subtle shapes in the machining to relieve stress in concentration zones, and brake rotors that are designed to increase the braking surface area while simultaneously reducing heat build-up and increase rotor stiffness.

It’s fantastic to read about all the decisions and factors involved in product development and the Intend products definitely stand out when you see them in the wild.

Intend's website.





TRICKSTUFF

Trickstuff Brake Detail


Trickstuff Brake Detail
Even Trickstuff's banjo bolt is machined to within an inch of its life.
Trickstuff Gyro Detail
They even do a hydaulic gyro.

The steeps of Champéry demand brakes that will not faulter at all. And my favourite brakes recently got dethroned at a product launch with the Trickstuff Maximas. Yes, they do cost as much as a black-market kidney, but my lord were they powerful and a pleasure to pull on. It’s not just subjective either, with recent lab tests rating their average braking torque and deceleration times substantially better than the rest of the competition.

Continuing the theme, their products are machining works of art and span not just brakes but headset parts, eccentric bottom brackets and even hydraulic gyros. There’s often a resemblance to some of the Intend components and that’s due to Intend’s Cornelius Kapfinger being a former employee.

While the high price of such highly engineered components can often put them out of reach for the general riding public, one product that Trickstuff sells offers a measured boost in performance for a snip of the price. Their brake pads come in all shapes, sizes and compounds and offer sizeable chunks of performance in average braking torque and deceleration times for their Power+ pads versus standard pads.

Trickstuff's website.





77DESIGNZ

77designz Bar Stem

77designz Bash
Beautifully simple bolt on bash guards.
77designz Stem
Their stem follows a 2 bolt design and utilises a shim when used on a carbon bar.

“Bike Components and Engineering.” There’s no beating around the bush in Germany and 77designz offer exactly what they say. Bash guards, chain guides and chain rings were once their mainstay. But a recent collaboration with WeAreOne saw them engineering a stem and bar system that takes a shim around the bar to evenly distribute the clamping force from their stem.

Amongst their products lie small parts like derailleur pulleys, seat clamps and fenders. But it’s with the other side of the business that things get really interesting.

77designz are also an engineering consultancy who offer services from start to finish of product development. Kinematic design, CAD modelling and FEA simulation are all in their portfolio of skills. I guess they did so much for other brands that they started to wonder if they could just do a bike themselves. The answer was yes, and they set out to develop and manufacture a frame for themselves. They documented the whole process with videos showing their successes and failures of designing and making a high-pivot enduro bike. This naturally evolved into the brand Kavenz, which they will sell the bike under.

Again, it’s a treat to have a peak behind the curtain of development and see how it’s done, the decisions and mistakes that lead to the final product.

77designz's website.





VECNUM

Vecnum Dropper Detail

Vecnum Dropper Detail
Vecnum's dropper posts go up to 215mm drop.
Vecnum Dropper Detail
Even parts out of sight are beautifully crafted.

Vecnum engineer and manufacture dropper seat posts out of the Ällgäu region of Germany. Sat right in front of the Alps, it’s a good job they do this as there are some of the steepest fire roads I’ve ever climbed lurking in those German forests.

Heralding from aerospace manufacturing, they began as a one man show with their moveLOC post. Vecnum now make a variety of posts for use in enduro to XC with accompanying levers and even seat post clamps to ensure properly functioning droppers in your frame.

The biggest drop game now stretches over 200mm and Vecnum offer posts with 212mm of cable actuated drop at staggeringly low weights. And if you’re confused about which post your frame should take there’s even a step by step guide to find exactly the right post for you and your bike.

Don’t think that you’ll be left high and dry after you’ve purchased one - they’ll service them for you, too, and take care issues if you encounter any.

Vecnum's website.





SCHMOLKE

Schmolke Saddle Detail

Schmolke Saddle
This saddle weighs absolutely naff all, and according to reports is actually very comfortable.
Schmolke Seatpost
Not one unnecessary gram is clinging onto Schmolke parts.

Over the past couple of years, I’ve found the UK hill climb scene weirdly fascinating. Stumbling upon it via Bike Radar Diaries I ended up watching episodes of how they train, race and build their bikes for a very niche racing category. One brand kept popping up in their bike builds for its insanely low weight components. That brand was Schmolke from Konstanz, Germany.

Schmolke’s speciality is carbon fiber composite parts and using the least amount of carbon fibers to do the job. The manufacture road and MTB components with everything from wheels to road frames.

Saddles as light as 62g, bars at 62g and seat posts at 91g all adorn their catalogue of very expensive parts. But the weight figures show how much engineering went into achieving these parts and should help you sleep a little better at night hiding the fact you’ve secretly spent your partner’s life savings on making your bike lighter.

It’s hard to imagine components lighter than these, most of which come with strict weight limits. No superfluous material finds a home here, and if you really want to take things up a notch they even sell carbon fiber screws.

Not to just be parts for weighing, it’s clear that they can be ridden hard after witnessing the hill climb videos and individual bike builds from guys pushing the boundary of exotic spec lists while still riding the bikes. Carbon fiber composites are still regarded by some as a black art, but these Germans seem to be getting on just fine with the magical fibers.

Schmolke's website.





TUNE

Tune Manufacturing

Tune Manufacturing
Hubs being assembled in Tune's German headquarters.
If your kitchen needs some bike component flair, then look no further.

Tune celebrated their 30th anniversary in 2019, and for each and every one of those years they’ve focussed on making lightweight components. They reside in Buggingen, Germany, on the edge of the Black Forest, and so have a brilliant testing grounds right out the front door. Started by Uli Fahl, who first travelled by bike into the Alps for climbing, he found his bikes too heavy, sapping the energy needed to scale the peaks. Bit by bit he experimented with reducing the weight of the components of his bike and slowly he started to interest others. Fahl eventually quit his day job and started Tune. After getting burnt by a supplier in the mid-90s, Tune then brought almost everything back to being manufactured in house.

Sebastian Linser is now managing the company, a long-time employee of Tune and pupil of Fahl. They continue to strive for utmost quality and precision constantly monitoring and adjusting the CNC machines depending on factors like temperature and air pressure. Attention to detail is up there.

Their parts catalogue is comprised of full wheels, hubs, bars, stems, headsets, saddles, seat posts, axles and all manner of small items for around your bike. It spans materials like high end aluminum alloys, titanium and carbon fiber, which they lay up and cure themselves in their own oven.

Tune shows a very cool story from one man’s side passion to make his own bike lighter to today where they have a wealth of components on offer and all proudly crafted in Germany. Also, if you fancy an unconventional salt and pepper shaker then look no further.

Tune's website.





BIKE AHEAD, BEAST & LIGHTWEIGHT

With the wealth of clever chaps in the cycling industry in Germany there is some overlap with brands in what they offer. Three brands that may appear similar at a glance are Bike Ahead, Beast and Lightweight. But looking a little deeper shows their differences.

Bike Ahead Wheel Detail
Bike Ahead Wheel Detail
Bike Ahead's biturboRS wheels are one piece and pretty striking in design.

Bike Ahead, Beast and Lightweight cover a similar component range of wheels, controls and accessories, each manufacturing in Germany and using carbon fiber composites to push the boundary of component weight. Lightweight do have the exception of offering a road frame.

Bike Ahead's most striking offering might be their one-piece biturboRS wheels. 1,249g for a pair of 29” XC wheels is astounding and goes towards showcasing their skills in development and manufacturing. Developing a one-piece wheel is not easy, but they do have the advantage of manufacturing in-house giving them quicker feedback loops and control over quality.

The six spoke wheels have an inner rim width of 27mm, unique hubs to cover the entire range of axle and brake standards and even an integrated spoke magnet for use with cycling computers.

Bike Ahead's website.

Beast Manufacturing
Beast Manufacturing
Beast's manufacturing is all done in-house in Dresden, Germany.

Beast hail from Dresden and also design, engineer and manufacturer in house. They show a knowledge and application of manufacturing techniques such as Resin Transfer Moulding and Vacuum Assisted Process, which was developed by Airbus and helps reduce air bubbles and voids in the composite structure.

A bar and stem combination from Beast can be as little as 241g. While some companies would impose a strict rider weight limit on components that light, Beast do not have a weight limit affixed to these featherweight components. In fact, most of their components are rated at ASTM class 3 and above.

Beast are also multiple time award winners for their their bars, stems, saddles and wheels, which goes to show, along with their lack of weight limits, how well engineered their components are.

Beast's website.

Lightweight Wheels
Lightweight Seatpost
Lightweight cater more to the road segment, but their parts often find a home on mountain bikes.

Lightweight, based out of Friedrichshafen, have been making components from the very early 90s. Before that the two founders were making composite parts for cars and lightweight horse drawn carts. World Champion titles and Tour de France appearances followed their first disc wheel effort and word spread quickly about these garage made racing wheels.

Appearances in all road racing events carried on for many years until in 2013 when they launched their first in-house developed road frame to the market.

While Lightweight’s focus may be on the road segment their parts often crossover to the MTB world on some of the lightest and most exotic builds. With appearances in the Olympics it shows that their components are worthy of the top tier racing requirements.

Lightweight's website.





While not a comprehensive list, we endeavoured to show the lesser known German brands out there making cool parts. But we know there will be some we overlooked, so let us know your suggestions in the comments. We're keen to discover more brands doing it in-house.





Regions in Article
Germany


183 Comments

  • 159 4
 Little known fact: Lightweight, along with Ellsworth, are the only companies in cycling to have their logo fonts chosen by nine year olds using Microsoft Publisher.
  • 16 0
 isn't that WordArt?
  • 42 6
 Dont forget guerilla gravity
  • 15 3
 I think 75% of the companies in the bicycle industrie have their logo fonts and logo designs chosen by 9 year olds.
Look at skateboarding, or BMX back in the day. All that shit looks way cooler.
  • 4 0
 For a set of lightweights... I could look beyond the font.
  • 6 0
 I think you meant Mario Paint
  • 14 0
 I really wanted a set of lightweight wheels for my road bike.

Then I realized the set I wanted was $6000.

Then I didn't get them.
  • 8 1
 Fezzari literally had their name chosen by a 10 year old. Not a joke.
  • 4 0
 And Bike Ahead. The first time I saw their logo font, I thought they were a knock-off brand in some tiny villiage in southern China.
  • 6 0
 The old Tr!ckstuff wordmark needs mentioning here too, but I like the new one a lot. And by all accounts the brakes are incredible.
  • 1 2
 Also Google‘s invention as a word came from the son of a maths professor - the kid should name the biggest ever thinkable number in words - so came Gogol
  • 2 1
 @ferenooo: Googolplex!!
  • 9 0
 Three Downvotes must mean Ellsworth has three user accounts.
  • 1 0
 Avatar!
  • 1 0
 @DutchmanPhotos: Face it, mountain biking is the sport of nerds, we're all too busy dreaming up linkages to think about the logo too hard.
  • 59 9
 Nice one! BikeYoke is still missing in this list, with great reliable dropper posts, yokes for Speci frames, and more. www.bikeyoke.de/en
  • 3 1
 Cheers for the tip!
  • 17 2
 best dropper post in the business
  • 16 2
 BikeYoke might be developing stuff in europe, but they/he doesn´t manufacture anything here. It´s all made in Asia. So it´s properly left out form the list above.
  • 10 2
 @JohSch: and Newmen manufactures the majority of components where exactly? Still rightfully on the list, then???
  • 1 0
 Bikeyoke is not made in Germany though.
  • 74 0
 @JohSch : We do not produce our stuff in Germany, that is correct. I´ve lived inTaiwan for several years, and we've built up our own production line in Taiwan. So every post and every sadlle - every product - is assembled in our own facilities from our own team.So, I exaclty know, who to blame, if something got messed up. ;-)
Depending on ow you define as manufactured "in-house in German", some of the other brands would rightfully have to not be on this list either.
But I think, this is not what counts. All of these brands stand for small companies with great spirit and great products, which stand out compared to stuff from the well known "big players".
  • 12 1
 I love my Bikeyoke dropper; it was a revelation* after my Rockshox.

*Pun intended...
  • 3 0
 @Sacki: Please share your knowledge with us.
I know that Vecnum ans Intend buy some tubes in Taiwan because they can't get the desired quality in Germany. But they still cnc parts in Germany and the assembly happens in Germany too.
Apart from that and the Newmen products (apart from the hubs) I'm not aware that any brand in this list does not manufacture in Germanny.
  • 3 0
 Probably should service, it still running probably free 2 years later. 2 Posts from Kind were crap, Reverb okay, but not perfect. Fox transfer - no problems but didn't give the most drop for insertion depth. oneup - works okay-ish/cheap but always refilling air. BikeYoke is my fav by far.
  • 4 2
 And Bike yoke is more deserving of being on the list than Vecnum, who doesnt ship to the US.
  • 2 0
 Definitely the best droppers on the market now!!!
  • 48 2
 @nowherenear: I don´t think I should comment on other companies' suppliers. I can, however, assure you, that from this list, not only Intend and Newmen source parts from Taiwan, but also others.
Actually, it does not really matter, from which country on this planet you source the parts from.
Sure, some people like stuff "Made in Germany, USA, Italy, ...), but does it really matter?
To me it does not matter. I know I produce my stuff together with friends, in our own facilities. I would not say, that my Taiwanese friends are any less worth to me than my friends in Germany. So why not product in Taiwan with my friends there? Producing our products in Germany would just not work for me. At least not efficiently enough to be able to feed 9 people at Bikeyoke.
There is nothing bad with sourcing from Taiwan or Asia.
However, it sure does matter from who (means from what kind of company) you source the parts from.
Not too long ago, I got very upset at one of the company's owners (who's company also sources from Asia), when he openly wrote about "Taiwanese people" doing shitty jobs for us rich "western" people. and how he critizised companies who were producing in Taiwan. That was very offending to read and I indeed got really mad about how short-sighted and undifferentiated this was to write out publicly.
It is completely up to you, who you are choosing to make business with. It does not matter, where this person comes from, or whether this person is "white", or "black" or "yellow" or from Asia or Europe, or Africa, Amercia, wherever...
It depends on how the company works and how they treat employees, environment and last but not pleast how is the quality and pricing.
You can not say, that people from Asia generally are just working hardly in dirty sweatshops and earn little money. Many of the companies I´ve visited are proud of what they are doing, wearing shirts and caps and shorts of their customers with pride and love what they are doing.
Of course you can also find negative examples. But it is still up to you as a company owner, who you are working with. It's your decision, and no one else's.
  • 1 0
 @Planetx888:

Ive got a vecnum nivo 212mm dropper in the usa. Had it shipped via canada post forwarding. It is lighter weight, longer travel, lighter action and more durable than any other post. Theres no need for bleeding, you can pick it up by the seat without drawing air in. And trumping rockahox once more, it works in sub zero temps. One of the best bike products ive ever come across.
  • 3 2
 @Sacki: I don't think anyone is questioning the ability of Taiwanese laborers, more so the questions raised are; would you still be producing in Taiwan if the environmental regulations and cost of labor were the same as western countries?
  • 3 0
 @Sacki: Thanks for your input in the discussion. I think the reasons for people to "buy local" are widely varied. To some extend it may be to protect/preserve their local industries. I definitely sensed this in New Zealand where it seems people are particularly proud of local produce. Though in the food sector maybe also to keep out foreign (invasive) seeds. An other sentiment is that far away production is often paired with mass production (as shipping is thought of in terms of shipping containers) which is then paired with excess hence waste. And of course there is the big issue of both environmental as well as worker conditions. Chinese (haven't looked into Taiwanese, sorry) regulations don't happen to be as strict as those in Europe and even though of course manufacturers may choose to adhere to stricter standards, at least for something produced in Europe can (or at least should be able to) trust that it is being produced according to those stricter standards. For the end consumer it is hard to find a better way to gauge this. Maybe you can buy clothes made in Bangladesh under conditions we'd consider fair but don't count on it. All this said, I actually don't question products made in Taiwan. Brands who produce (or have their products or parts produced) in Taiwan are typically quite proud and open about this. Magura has her own plant, Cotic and Starling are clearly proud to have their parts welded in Taiwan too. I think DT Swiss also has a video showing the high tech process of producing their fork lowers there and even back in the days when Planet X was all about hard core trials and dirtjumping they were proud to show and tell their frames were made in Taiwan. So I don't think anyone is looking down upon Taiwanese production. Then there is the worry that you have people producing goods for you which they can't afford to buy themselves. An article on Eskapee.com set that straight for me: www.eskapee.com/issues/for-the-love-of-it.

So please don't think customers here are necessarily looking down upon Asian products. There is just a worry that the ethics are more messed up than what you'd have with something produced in their Western homeland (which clearly isn't 100% clean either). And then of course definitely don't think people are pro-Western and against Asian. I clearly sense that North American Pinkbike visitors are getting more excited by North American products. And on the other hand (being from The Netherlands) I may have a preference for European products (which includes consumer grade stuff from Tacx and Polisport too) but I don't value something made in the USA higher than something made in Taiwan. So yeah, the main thing is just that. Not "west vs. east", just local produce in terms of the same continent or the same economic zone.
  • 1 0
 @Sacki: I think it does matter to some extent, that materials, parts and products be produced on the same continent on which they are sold and used because globalized economy and transport is a incredibly environmentally destructive way to act. the more localized economies are, the less detrimental to environment they are, if all else is the same
the only exception to that is if the transport of the goods has an overarching net positive effect on our planets health, ie commuter bicycles or renewable energy generators, just for example; i would not lump recreational mtb's that people drive tor ride and shuttle with as a environmental benefit though.
  • 7 0
 @getsomesy and @digeridrew :

Perfectly explained of the both of you and I fully agree.
I just know from own experience, that some people sometimes still look down on Asian production, just because they have not seen it or know how life there is or can be. Especially Taiwan is very underrated in terms of living standards.
I also completely agree to support local business and economy especially when it comes to food and I am also starting to think completely different about clothing that I personally wear. The majority of the textile industry is very very disturbing in terms of enviromental care. Very disturbing!
I guess, what I essentially wanted to say with my text above is, that it is perfecly fine to support local business, industry and economy. Just please don´t pretend to do it for the "wrong" reasons. Don´t do it for made up reasons, that don´t exist.
If one wants to be proud of his country and support local busines, then it´s more than cool, but don't pretend to buy or produce local just because you want to be the great saviour, who protects the poor Asian people from being exploited. And that was the essence of this publication I was referring to earlier, which I was so angry about.
  • 1 3
 @Sacki: I agree with a lot that is said here and I would and do trust things that come from overseas, but there is a caveat. Because of the lax of standards you can be getting a far less superior product starting from the very beginning of the process, especially with metals. There are TONS of engineering standards all the way down to how ore comes out of the ground for metals. Analysis is based on these set standards and that companies produce their product to these. To ensure a product is going to hold up, these standards need to be held all the way to end product that goes to the consumer. If one is missed, there is potential for failure and that falls (unfortunately) on the end user having to experience. It's up to the manufacturer and the producer to adhere to them. If you don't know your metal (or insert material here) meets criteria, there is no way you know if it's going to fail and you are blindly selling it to a consumer. All billet is not created equal. There are grain structure requirements, tensile requirements, etc that a producer needs to meet. This doesn't take into consideration design requirements or manufacturing defects either. It's a really slippery slope when the slope starts at the very beginning of the process.

The reasoning isn't just behind the "working conditions" that may be experienced although that is part of it. Being a manufacturing company yourself, I understand you likely realize it, but many don't know where their product comes from or how it gets to a company like yourself to be produced for the end user
  • 2 0
 @Sacki: The German engineering is what I appreciate, so thank you guys! Germany makes me Proud to be a German! Thanks
  • 9 0
 @Sacki and @vinay I'm concerned about how constructive and pleasant this discussion was.
  • 3 0
 @Sacki: Very well said! How you got downvotes for this is beyond me
  • 1 0
 @Sacki: everyone blames on "Made in taiwan" or "Made in asia" thing but most of the technological devices comes from there. Asus is from taiwan, msi is from taiwan, most of the bikes made in taiwan etc.
  • 1 0
 @dan-roberts: +1 for Pi Rope as mentioned below by @Ttimer; it’s their braided Vectran spokes that are used in the Newmen wheel as pictured. If I’m not wrong it is Pi Rope who offers the wheelsets assembled with their Vectran spokes while Newmen provides the hubs and rims. (For their own wheelsets, Newmen uses Sapim spokes.)
  • 20 1
 I just wet myself.

Then I saw the golden "Maxima" cover being mounted with 3 different screws and torx mixed with hex on one brake??
  • 9 0
 Good point. I count 6 different tool interfaces in the pictures for the same brake. What is going on?
  • 8 0
 Yeah, at least it's not that expensive, so...
  • 12 3
 @cvoc: The obvious aswer is: If you can afford a Maxima you probably have your own mechanic to do the wrenching for you and don't have to worry about pesky screw heads.
  • 3 4
 @Ttimer: Or the obvious answer is that considering they build stuff with function over design in mind they probably use the appropriate bolt for each application. Maybe they could make the effort of using all Torx but what is the difference between picking 3/4 different size torx or 2 hex and 2 torx ?
  • 5 0
 @Balgaroth: Unfortunately that means you've got your design wrong if you need three different fixings for a simple cap (if one hides a bleed screw i stand corrected to some extent, but I believe that's on the side). DFMA* principles will always drive to have as few different fixings on a product as possible (within reason of course). The difference is increasing the chance of the wrong tool being picked up at the wrong time, for little/no benefit.

*Design For Manufacture and Assembly
  • 1 0
 @Balgaroth: Yeah, those two small bolts on the top cap have heads of identical diameters, but require two different tools because "function over design"...
  • 1 0
 The 2 screws on the right seem to be from different batches but to be of the same diameter. On other pictures they look identical. Also on my Shimano SLX there are also 2 different screws for the brake cover.
  • 1 0
 @scottishmark: mine have 2 different fixings, 1 larger one by the M and 2 identical smaller ones by the A. I can’t tell you how little this bothers me. If that’s the only fault folk can find in a brake, I ain’t gonna lose any sleep.
  • 1 0
 @tomhoward379: I think you might have missed the point of the discussion, no one is being kept awake by this. However it is not good Engineering to have loads of different fixings or, to think of it from the other side, imagine how good it would be if you could strip and build an entire bike with just one tool (that wasn't a hammer)!
  • 1 0
 @scottishmark: a bike the could be built with one tool would be terrible. Use the right fixing for the right application.
  • 1 0
 @tomhoward379: are you even trying to understand what I'm saying? Obviously a bike couldn't be built with 1 type of fixing, however that would be a holy grail situation for DFMA where you can design something that would allow it to happen, whilst obviously not compromising the function. Hence the word "imagine". You'd think I didn't work in Manufacturing.....
  • 17 0
 Other German brands that manufacture inhouse:

Brakestuff (discs)
Pinion (gearbox)
Rohloff (gearbox hub)
Connex / Wippermann (chains)
German Answer (shocks / forks)
AX Lightness (parts and frames)
Ortlieb (bags)
Knipex (pliers)

Frames:
Kavenz
Crossworx Cycles
Portus
Urwahn Bikes
many many more

knee and elbow pads:
Ortema
  • 8 0
 Nicolai deserves a mention (beyond the many many more).

Lupine lighting also does everything in house.

Never realized German A produces in house. They may get more attention again now that linkage front suspension got hip.
  • 6 0
 SON (lights and dynamos)
BrakeforceOne (brakes, duh)
Pirope (spokes/wheels)
  • 2 0
 LAST BIKE
  • 14 0
 One hydraulic gyro + one brake hose down the steerer tube + wireless shifting + wireless dropper = bar spin heaven on every bike.
  • 4 1
 Well as long as its not a knockblock Trek....
  • 12 0
 "we endeavoured to show the lesser known German brands out there making cool parts. But we know there will be some we overlooked, so let us know your suggestions in the comments. We're keen to discover more brands doing it in-house."

MCFK. www.mcfk.de/en

Pinkbike I'd love to see a group test of the lightest handlebars from schmolke, tune, mcfk. purely to know how much flex such a light handlebar has... but also if they snap...
  • 5 0
 Me too. I'll get me safety glasses.
  • 2 0
 @dan-roberts: huck it to flat or you ain't balls hahaha...
  • 9 0
 New contest: we take a Pole Machine and attach a series of ultra light bars, and have Jason do hucks to flat. Pinkbike gets to bet on which breaks first.
  • 14 0
 German engineering in the house, ja.
  • 1 0
 What time is it?
  • 3 0
 @colincolin: Time to unpimp teh radl!
  • 4 0
 @Citrons I used to work for a German bike company that said similar in its marketing despite that fact that not one of us in the engineering office at the time was German.

Germany is second to none when it comes to marketing.
  • 14 0
 Put your SCHMOLKE in my VECNUM and lets do some TRICKSTUFF...
  • 2 0
 ze germans
  • 2 0
 Schmolke and a pancake?
  • 8 1
 The handlebar that's paired with the 77designz stem is made in Canada by We Are One if I'm not mistaken. I own a set of We Are One handlebar and stem and it's rad.
  • 1 0
 Yup that's correct. We Are One also makes their own version of that stem as well.
  • 5 0
 "We're keen to discover more brands doing it in-house."

I can recommend a great insta channel that covers bike parts and frames which are made in Europe: @the.european.bike.project.

As much as I know, Newmen only makes the hubs in Germany, the rest comes from far far away. The 77Designz bar is made in Canada, which is nice too.
  • 1 0
 Thanks, I've just given them a follow
  • 5 0
 German manufacturer "Kappstein" makes silent (rear-) hubs - similar to Onyx - but for a reasonable price.

I was looking for something like this for long and I'm super stoked to finally have one!
  • 2 0
 Thanks. Saw them a while ago, they seemed now available. Impressions? Weight?
  • 1 0
 Vespers are $460USD, Kappstein will be $360 after exchange rate and shipping. Less, but at the cost of customer service and reduced features - Vesper comes in CLD and uses DT freehub bodies.
  • 2 0
 @mensch-mueller: I'm not really looking at weight and I haven't weighed it yet. I wanted it for the (no-) sound experienceWink

@JohanG Right. Getting an Onyx hub in Germany would have cost me a solid 100 bucks more.

I was actually writing with the guys at Kappstein for about have a year before that because they didn't have Sram XD freehubs yet and I really wanted to know if and when I could expect their release. They were very kind and transparent answering my countless inquiriesWink

After finally getting one, I was a little upset when it failed on the second ride but had a new one sent to me right away. Support was really quick and the new hub is holding up well so far...
  • 5 0
 The textile spokes are done by Pi Rope, a smaller company than NEWMEN. They only do spokes so far, can't see them taking over the handlebar business by storm...
  • 3 0
 Have tune King Kong Wheels since 2001, regular bearing swap and still turning on my wifes bike. They even changed the Axel once for FREE, as IT was not suitable with their New bearings. Can't complain by that...
  • 4 0
 Reverse components (German I think, support Nico Vink), they do a funky crown race spacer thats takes half a degree off your head angle for less that 20 bucks.
  • 1 0
 And they do superbe 810mm carbon DH handlebars that are very compliant (arm pump is gone)
  • 2 0
 Reverse is the component brand for Solid bikes if I recall correctly. Not sure whether they actually produce in Germany though.
  • 1 0
 I had a Reverse direct mount stem on my Tues for a while. lovely lightweight piece of kit.
  • 6 0
 Reverse simply imports stuff from Asia. Not producing anything in Europe. Quite a few cataloge items instead of own developments aswell.
  • 15 3
 @vhdh666: arm pump is gone, come on... I just did a sesh of clean drills at the gym and my forearms are sore and a fricking handlebar will change it just because it costs more money than another bar. People get arm pump because their grip strength is insufficient for the way they ride and how long they ride.

So far the only thing that works for it is learning to ride with not much check braking and training grip strength.

The rest is called “post purchase rationalization syndrome”
  • 1 0
 Reverse don't manufacture in Germany.
  • 1 0
 @WAKIdesigns: Or the GEO of the bar changes the hand position enough to instill confidence in the the rider enough to get them to loosen said rider's grip. This could give the perception that a "bar with more flex" "cures arm pump" when in reality it was a change in position that reduced arm pump drastically.

Sure, "better" bars don't "cure" arm pump, but the wrong bar can definitely cause fatigue unnecessarily.
  • 1 0
 @ridintrials: you're right. My first carbon handlebar was a Specialized S Works Modell. I couldn't ride it. Too much arm pump. Changing to Reverse 810mm carbon DH handlebars cured the problem. And it's even cheaper.
  • 1 1
 @WAKIdesigns: of course you're right
  • 1 0
 @WAKIdesigns: I love you
  • 2 0
 The question also remains: what is a German company? It is a company registered in Germany, but that manufactures the parts in Asia? Are you a company that designs parts in Germany but has it manufactured in Asia? It is a company that designs and produces in Germany, but with engineers from other nationalities? Is it a company established in Germany with German engineers and actually producing in Germany?
  • 4 0
 Note sure if they exist anymore, but what about German:A that made the Kilo fork?
  • 6 1
 Where the weight winnie filter?
  • 1 0
 I would add Syntace to this German group as well. They do all product development and testing in-house in Germany and have actually brought back a lot of manufcaturing to Germany recently as well. Their hubs and pedals for example are made in Germany. Then RESET Racing Products would be another nice small one to mention as well an NOKON cable systems and Carbocage Racing Components, all three manufacture in Germany.
  • 2 0
 Tr!ckstuff is manufacturing really fine parts, but they use standard brake hose and fittings from Goodridge, which includes the banjo as well...
  • 1 0
 Maybe an advantage if you're in an Alpine resort with only one bike shop and you've broken your hose.
  • 1 0
 Rohloff is one of them too - I ride my Speedhub with 14 gears since 2003, Tyler Klassen and Tarek Rasouli recommended it for freeride and I now have it on all my bikes Smile handmade in Kassel! Cheers, Marc
  • 3 0
 77Designz are also the guys who created the Kavenz bike.
  • 2 0
 “Lightweight Horse Drawn Carts”

Need I say more

Gorgeous products from these companies
  • 3 0
 I just like saying Schmolke...Ssscchhmolke.
  • 3 0
 NEWMAN!

ugh, I’m getting old.
  • 2 1
 NEIN! It really is Newmen.

www.newmen-components.de/de
  • 2 0
 @rarerider: I think you missed the reference.
  • 1 0
 @Gibbsatron: thank you for stepping me back from the ledge.
  • 1 0
 @Gibbsatron: Yeah that's what I'm thinking too. What is it?
  • 1 0
 Hopp, lovely stuff but ouch! Even dentists would struggle to justify £800+ for a rear derailleur, having said that I am tempted by their H20 brakes.
  • 1 0
 The shock caps are sweet. $100+ a set for a fox 36 Grip 2.... Insane. (I still want....)
  • 1 0
 You should take a look at Veltec @dan-roberts. Super reliable and pretty light wheels. 1790g for a set of 29er wheels you can go full Enduro with.
  • 1 1
 Nice products, minus the carbon crap seen here. Most Ridiculous Product award to Hopp and their kinder surprise gadgets. Sexiest Product award to 77Designz and their gorgeous stems.
  • 1 0
 They also got a Bike in the making. Check them out! Pretty neat stuff from just around the corner.
  • 1 0
 Yep. First stem I see which may actually replace my sunline Vone, one day.
  • 1 0
 My German girlfriend likes to rate my sexual performances from 1 - 10. Last night we tried anal. She kept yelling 9... That's the best I've ever done.
  • 5 5
 I had tune hubs once. They snapped on the first month of ownership and refused to warranty them (U.K. distro). Went ugh hope after that.
  • 5 3
 How did you snap a hub? More to the point you managed to snap BOTH hubs?

Probably user error no wonder they didn't warranty.
  • 2 1
 I had some tune hubs also. i bought the new prince hubs, after they came out. After one month the Hubshell broke in two, on the drive side of my backwheel. I had no problem with the warranty. after then i selled them. -if you push the lightweight construction too far, you need some training wheels...
  • 2 0
 @Hamburgi: wow the actual hub shell broke? I take it back @klunkykona
  • 1 0
 I‘ve heard from a few broken flanges on tune hubs. There are regularly images on german forums aswell...
  • 1 0
 me too. it snapped at the hub flange when the bike was just sitting in the garage!!
  • 1 0
 I've done 10800Km in 4 years on my Tune King/Kong hubs and they are still rolling like new. I even destroyed my rear wheel once (at the end of the first year) with a stick of wood in the spokes at speed and I could not find any damage to the flanges/shell while my rim was destroyed and snaped a few spokes.
  • 1 0
 @Hamburgi @jzPV @puddinghead I've had 11 sets of various different TUNE hubs on various bikes from Dirt jump, road, gravel, XC, all mountain to DH and have had zero issues. Regular servicing (which is simple with these hubs) which includes checking spoke tension and correct axial bearing pressure is the key to longetivity. A spike in spoke tension can typically lead to flange failures. None the less, TUNE have actually improved their hub design over the last couple of years including changing flange material to a more ductile one and changing the flange geometry (Chamfer on inside spoke hole! Not many hubs have this) so I anticipate we won't be seeing too many more of these failures that you read about on the web in the future.
  • 1 0
 @Santacruz817: Maybe could be Wink My wheel set that i ordered back then, came frome the tune factory. So the spoke tension have to be correct. But yeah maybe they changed something. im not mad about tune so things can happen like a broken frame, but i spend my money on DT Swiss hubs or Hope.
  • 3 1
 I would like to see the Italian brands that make nice parts as well.
  • 2 0
 Formula and Ancilotti spring to mind. I would expect the Italians have a good few we've never heard of. Heck, there is probably a good few in every European country though I expect the bulk of them would be in the UK and Germany.
  • 3 0
 @vinay: There are also Leonardi and Ingrid making a lot of MTB drivetrain components like seriously light 12spd cassettes. But mostly Italians do road stuff there are simply too many to count.
  • 4 1
 @vinay: And EXT
  • 1 0
 Ingrid for drivetrain components. Many saddle brands.
  • 3 0
 @vid1998: also MDE bikes is from Italy, and make really good bikes for a fair price that can be customized in size Wink
  • 1 0
 @Cookiefr: my buddy has a MDE Damper - well and truly a bike to consider, when looking for a new one!
Very nice build and a great ride. I always wonder why there are so few around.
  • 1 0
 Deaneasy makes their stuff in Italy too. I'm actually interested to see how their stuff could improve a relatively simple product. My Magura TS8 forks are nice and particularly simple. I'm willing to give their ABS Fork Tune a try and see how it works out. Pinkbike once made a mention of the product but didn't seem to get the point of what the product is all about and mixed it up with Formula Neopos (and then they got even more confused as the open cell ABS foam is never going to function like closed cell Neopos).
  • 4 0
 Yep we'll have to do a Continental Europe version of this round up next week!
  • 1 0
 @Werratte: because they don't reply to importers, or customers.
  • 1 0
 @sethius: Ok... did you try?
Would be sad, because the product itself is good.
  • 1 0
 @Werratte: yep, years ago as both trade and retail.
  • 1 0
 @sethius: seems that they improved in the last years Wink
  • 2 0
 Links would be nice............
  • 1 0
 Warning. Newman measures stems differently. 50 mm is equal to 42 mm. See my buy and sell. Exceptional stuff otherwise.
  • 1 0
 I don't think Yoann Barelli's up turned brake levers would save his third ball from getting stuck in that seat.
  • 2 0
 Employees at Newmen: *weigh stem*
Employees: “Nice”
  • 1 3
 German manufacturers can be divided into 4 groups: 1- Brands that make things durable and tested = Syntace, Newmen, etc. 2- Brands that try to be like the group 1, but still sin with small problems typical of amateur companies like Trickstuff, Intend, etc. Just look at the reviews of these brands, there is always a small problem, something unexpected always happens, it is a failing o'ring, a leaking hose, a lead they forgot to send, etc. 3- Brands that make stupidly light and unreliable parts for showcase bikes like Schmolke, Tune, etc. 4- Brands that want to reinvent the wheel and sell solutions to problems that do not exist, Pinion, Rohloff, Geometron, etc.
  • 1 0
 I luv this cutting edge Uber bike gear. Next you can do the UK , France , USA , Canada, more please.
  • 2 0
 cool
  • 3 3
 If these are the lesser known, who are the bigger German component companies???
  • 7 0
 Canyon, Cube, Liteville...
  • 4 1
 Bikes: Canyon, Cube, Liteville, Radon, Rose
Components: Magura
Tires: Continental, Schwalbe

Etc.
  • 3 0
 Magura used to do everything in their tiny plant in Bad Urach. They later built a plant in Taiwan mostly for the metalwork but their injection molding tech will never leave Germany and they recently built a huge plant near Ulm (not too far from Bad Urach). Then of course you have Rohloff and Pinion making gearboxes. Not sure about Across, don't they also produce in house? Not sure about the super lightweight brands, but I think the frequent PB visitor would already be familiar with brands like Intend, Trickstuff, Tune and Vecnum.
  • 2 0
 The article was focused on components actually made in Germany. Most of the bike (not component) brands mentioned here don't produce their frames in Germany. Of course there are some. Most notably Nicolai. They obviously produce their own brand frames but they are also subcontractor for other brands that don't weld their aluminium frame parts (like 11ants). I also love the steel Portus Cycles from Alex Claus (an ex Tune employee too).
  • 6 0
 While SRAM is an american company, the Eagle drivetrain could be considered pretty much as a german product.
  • 3 0
 @MadCyborg: I consider Sachs, Avid, Rockshox, Zipp and Truvativ still mostly independent companies with SRAM as the corporate end doing the marketing etc. It seems like integration is limited. If they'd truly work together, there would at least be more integration with AXS also controlling suspension settings and monitoring the tire pressure sensors in the rim valve.
  • 1 0
 @vinay: You are right at. ACROS hubs are made in Germany as shown in this story from a while back. www.pinkbike.com/news/inside-acros.html
  • 1 0
 @vinay: I once knew a man from Ulm. Nobody remembers his name.
  • 4 0
 @MadCyborg: Germans are denying any accountability for the Eagle drivetrain. "We were just following orders" I've heard them say.
  • 1 0
 @Crossmaxx: this deserves more recognition..... ????
  • 2 0
 What about Alutech?
  • 1 0
 Do they still produce in Germany? Pricing is pretty sharp if they do!
  • 1 0
 @vinay: nah, most of those Bikes just get assembled in germany. Guess just a very few models get still build in germany. Nicolai still does tho
  • 4 2
 Acros?
  • 1 0
 Always wanted custom fox caps on the forks
  • 1 0
 The ShamWow guy attests that Germans make good stuff.
  • 1 0
 Hopp have a replacement bush for SRAM eagle derailers on there site.
  • 1 0
 ordered my trickstuff brakes get them in September
  • 1 0
 SB ONE Bikeparts also makes great stuff for single-speed.
  • 1 0
 Holly SCHMOLKE that saddle looks hard!
  • 1 0
 Rudol Von Stroheim is approved of this article
  • 1 0
 German engineering is the finest in the world. *tips hat*
  • 1 0
 To 77designz : Foo Fighters called...they want their logo BACK right away
  • 1 0
 Miss Ceetec Carbon !!!
  • 1 0
 [edit: mispost]
  • 1 2
 This is why two wars were waged against Germany. They are that good.
  • 1 0
 Shit joke is shit
  • 1 4
 I would choose Ferrari over Porsche everyday,.. sorry.
  • 1 2
 Volkswagen brand owns like half the automotive industry brands. Even Lamborghini look like Volkswagen products now unfortunately. (I literally liked Lamborghini more before they were bought by Volkswagen). I don't know, they must be doing something right. (It looks pretty bad from a anti-German whathaveyou, "evil that happened in the past" perspective)..........Even Aston Martin are using Mercedes engines, which is unheard of. Those Germans.
  • 2 1
 @Kramz: Let me put it differently that you might get it; I prefer Renaissance than Gothic.
  • 2 0
 The closet engineer in me would always pick the Porsche, I love the emotion that Ferrari inspire but for cold, hard reliability and performance give me a Porsche each time.
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