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A Guide to European bicycle part makers

Logo Brown leather bicycle seat Bicycle Saddle, made in England Cycling backpack from Germany Cycling jersey Bicycle Bags

Brooks

One of the best known bicycle saddle companies in the UK. It is has been in the business for 150 years and is known for more than just seats these days.

INTERESTING STORY

Mr. Brooks and his team innovated and tested different products. Luckily not all of them were successful so we can applaud them for being “odd” and “daring”. To name a few: camera carrier (in 1890’s!), spring snap-on leggings for men and bicycle screen to protect cyclist’s

face. Don’t believe me? Check their page called “Cabinet of Curiosities”

For me, the most fascinating fact about them that they give 10 years warranty on their selected products. And of course it covers their signature seats including their classic, and arguably most comfortable seat ever made – B17. It had maintained its design and exactly the same making process for over 100 years. I tried it cycling London to Paris myself and can see why these guys are still in business. The seat was just a dream.

I am glad the company has moved on with times and now has grown into a fashion brand. But it always makes things so much more complicated from the “made in” perspective. Being a brand means that they source their products from other makers instead of making them in-house. Their cycling jersey, for example, is made by a well known Santini company in Italy. Shoulder bags, backpacks as well as impressive helmets are sourced from the Italian makers. Some pannier bags are coming from Germany, while others are “made in Europe”.

FACTS

MADE IN: England ESTABLISHED IN: 1866 PRICE: depending on the part

www.brooksengland.com

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German bicycle handlebar maker Carbon Handlebar Made in Germany German mtb marathon handlebar carbon handlebar made in germany

Haero Carbon

HC is an outcome of two different things happening simultaneously. Firstly, different teams from sister companies got together to combine the expertise in mould making, composite fibre technology and mass production in timely manner. And secondly, majority of people involved were very passionate and personally involved in competitive cycling.

INTERESTING STORY

The company is owned by Hearer Formenbou which is a supplier of dies and mould parts for car manufacturers like Audi, BMW, Volvo, WV and Daimler. Hence the technology, quality standards and ‘know how’ is coming from the same team that has been making quality parts for

luxury cars for over 50 years.

It is a new company, but already they patenting new technologies and have a major achievement under their belt – development and production of the lightest time trial handlebars in the world, at 350 grams. It is worth noting that not all of their parts are made in Germany, hence look out for “Handmade in Germany” sign when choosing your products.

FACTS

MADE IN: Lorch, Germany ESTABLISHED IN: TBC PRICE: €199 – €699

www.haero-carbon.com

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Logo German made handlebar bicycle part German bicycle part

Lenkr

Lenkr is a very young start up from Germany that specialises in two types of wooden handlebar. It has a aluminum core for the strength, but a lot of effort is placed in extracting and exposing the pattern of wallnut wood which will differ with each product. Type A is heavier by a 100 grams at 260g, and has ionised end caps vs 160 grams and polished metal end caps.

INTERESTING STORY

The company is currently raising funds for the production of second handlebar design – Type B. Both designs are features in the slide show on the left. You can become part of their story through Kickstarter.

The beauty of wood grain pattern is original to each product, but it also ages beautifully adding rather to the looks of the handlebar with time. Having said that, it should not be exposed to prolonged heavy rains and frost. (Image credits to Lenkr.de)

FACTS

MADE IN: Germany ESTABLISHED IN: 2015 PRICE: €79

http://lenkr.de/

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Logo for an Italian company Italian wooden bicycle frame Handlebar Italian wooden wheels Italian handmade bicycle tyres wooden bike made in Italy

Cerchio Ghisallo

For over 80 years or three generations this company has been making… wooden bicycles and their parts. Wood is considered a great material because of its flexibility and comparatively low weight. Cyclists can buy just individual parts like rims or frames as well as already built bicycles directly from the makers.

INTERESTING STORY

Learning about wooden bicycles is strange enough, but it is even more interesting to see that they actually build different rims suitable not just for ordinary bikes but also the ones that can be used for racing. To this date there are at least 80 athletes that used Ghisallo wooden

wheels including Fiorenzo Magni who won three Tour de Flanders while using this technology.

This wooden innovation goes even further. You can even buy vintage cork or actually wooden brake pads too. It is just too much to list on this forum. But here is a video of a wooden bike that used some of the parts from Ghisallo shop – https://youtu.be/UOp58Ur-VOQ

FACTS

MADE IN: Italy ESTABLISHED IN: 1946 PRICE: depending on the part

www.ghisallowoodenrims.com

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Logo Racing bike wheel German made bike wheels German made bicycle wheels

Taylor Wheels

It is one of the largest bicycle wheel manufacturers in Europe, which produces around 3000 wheels a day. All wheels, without exception, are made in Germany and a lot of attention is placed on the quality.

INTERESTING STORY

How many factories have sold you something direct? Despite the fact that Taylor Wheels is a big operation they sell not just to distributors but directly to customers too. The benefit? If you order mid-week, your wheels will be despatched on the same day. Also just like with any maker, should you have a custom requirement, they are happy to make it happen. Just like a small guy.

FACTS

MADE IN: Germany ESTABLISHED IN: 2011 PRICE: €40 – €410

www.taylor-wheels.com

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Germany company logo Timeless Collection made in Germany German seat design Soft bicycle seat from Germany

Wittkop

The company name has been known for cyclists for over 100 now. And although it has stopped production for number of years and was in the hands of different owners, it is now coming back with new ranges and offerings to cyclists that are tired of hard saddles. It’s price range is definitely one of the lowest in the market, despite the fact that all design and production is taking place in Germany.

INTERESTING STORY

Although the company is keeping original saddle design from 1898, it has changed the technology that supports it. In it’s timeless collection they use new suspension technology and can even make your seat with

a carbon frame. Bringing it’s weight to only 160 g.

All Timeless Collection saddles have a laser engraving on the cover. The Limited Edition saddles are individual and assembled on a wooden card with verified serial number and weight.

FACTS

MADE IN: Germany ESTABLISHED IN: 1898 PRICE: €9 – €39

www.wittkop.eu/

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French bicycle company carbon bicycle made in France Crankset made in France French made pedals Carbon handlebars made in France bicycle bag made in France

Look

All of their products are researched, designed and manufactured on their site in Nevers, France. Look is the most famous for their innovation of clipless pedals. But at the same time they were also the first to make a carbon frame in 1986. Something that they are continuing on developing, which can be seen from their carbon bicycles that range between road, triathlon, track and MTB.

INTERESTING STORY

In London Olympic and Paralympics games in 2012 Look took 13 medals including 2 champion titles – on the road (A. Vinokourov using the Kéo Blade) and mountain, MTB (Kulhavie on Quartz).

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As a big manufacturer they also make other parts: handlebars, cranksets, bottle holders and even baggage. Look’s innovation has been recognised by numerous awards in different countries, but most impressive for us is “Bike of the Year” award given for them on four occasions in France.

FACTS

MADE IN: Nevers, France ESTABLISHED IN: 1984 PRICE: depending on the product

www.lookcycle.com

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