The four founders of Schindelhauer Bikes met at university. I was studying mechanical engineering in Magdeburg and met Manuel there. Then we were joined by Stephan, an industrial designer, someone we needed to really get to grips with the design aspect, and Martin joined us for the business plan. At the time, he shared a flat with me and was studying business Administration.
...the belt drive:
The belt drive we use is totally maintenance-free. This means it no longer needs grease or oil, so you no longer get dirty trouser legs – a massive advantage for people who cycle to work every day. The belt is carbon-fibre reinforced and is made of a material that is weather-resistant, so it lasts much longer than a chain.
...the vision of a brand:
We bring two worlds together: the world of engineering – developing our own products and using innovative technologies on bikes, and the world of design – using classic elements to give our bikes an almost timeless look.
...reaching the target group:
We are motivating a totally different group of people to get on a bike, and we seem to have captured the spirit of the age with our design. We very consciously use materials that are found in high-quality cars and that flick a particular switch in people’s minds, arousing enthusiasm for the design and for the bikes.
...lifestyle and the financial crisis:
I believe the financial crisis was a major factor in the current mind-shift we are seeing in society. We have changed from desiring really expensive status symbols, such as a big car, towards desiring a more sustainable lifestyle. Naturally this also includes nutrition: vegetarianism and veganism is one topic, and of course the conscious and positive decision to ride a bike.
We do not just regard ourselves as bicycle manufacturers. If we take a visionary look into the future, we regard ourselves more as a company that is defining urban mobility. There are many other products that play a role in this area, or that will play a role in the future. We are staying on the ball here and intend to be involved with relevant issues, so as to be able to create products for urban mobility – and that will involve more than just bikes.