History of the Rohloff AG
The Rohloff AG produces drive components for the active sport sector of bicycles. The main product today is the 14-speed gear hub the SPEEDHUB 500/14. The hub is used very successfully in the areas mountain bike, trekking, downhill, city, recumbent bike, and rehabilitation. The company was found in 1986 as Rohloff GmbH (Ltd.) by Barbara and Bernhard Rohloff in Kassel (Germany) in order to produce the bicycle chain S-L-T 99. The chain was established in the market very quickly. In 1989 the famous Italian company Campagnolo joint into the business. Therefore, from 1989 to 1993 all Campagnolo drives were equipped with the Rohloff chain.
The first company production site was placed in the backyard of the Moenchebergstraße 30 in Kassel, where the 100.000 chains per year were manufactured in triple shift with the help of a self-constructed assembling machine the fabulous “green Monster”. In 1990 the “Tour de France” and the Street Bike WM were won with the Rohloff chain S-L-T 99. In the following years the product variety was enlarged by self invented tools around the bicycle drive, e.g. the Rohloff Revolver, the Rohloff Caliber, the HG-IG Check and the automatic chain lubrication system Lubmatic. From 1994 onwards the chain lubricant “Oil of Rohloff” was developed, which is ideally made for any bicycle drive and is conversable. In 1994 Rohloff split with Campagnolo.
Just in time for the celebration of the 10th anniversary in 1996 a new invention, the gear hub SPEEDHUB 500/14, was introduced at the IFMA in Cologne (Germany). The Rohloff gear hub is still the only hub drive, which is able to replace a 27-gear chain drive completely and which is especially made for the active sport use. A year’s production is about 20.000 hubs, which are distributed all around the world. In 2004 the company changed into Rohloff AG.
Rohloff Production "Handmade in Germany"
The Rohloff AG is specialized in developing, producing and distributing their own products worldwide. The separate parts are made in approx. 150 German companies. The delivered parts have to pass a quality control before they are assembled. The finished products are distributed only through the German bicycle trade or bicycle importers in foreign countries. This structure allows a quick and easy reaction to changes on the market. Approx. 35 employees are working in the new production site in Fuldatal-Ihringshausen near to Kassel, in which the company moved into in 2004. The main customer platform is the Rohloff website. Here the visitors are finding important product information, manuals, mounting videos, help and news around the Rohloff AG.
To be able to adjust the products to the need of the customers in an optimal way, the Rohloff Service Team is represented on the most famous fairs and bicycle races all around the world. Additionally, investments in the sporting bicycle sector like sponsoring are made, where continually new experiences with the products under extreme conditions can be collected. This knowledge is passed on to the local dealers regularly via dealer workshops.
Today and in Future
In 2004 the Rohloff GmbH has been changed into Rohloff AG and the employees have a share in the company. All products are secured through worldwide patents. The distribution of the products is made via importers of the individual countries. The name Rohloff is long since a brand name in the bike scene and stands for an uncompromising quality and durability in the bicycle sector. During the last 20 years the company stood to its motto “No slogans, just facts!” This should be continued in future with ideas and innovations all around the bicycle drive.