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PROGRESS “MADE IN GERMANY” SINCE 1919
Kalkhoff looks back on a long history. For more than 90 years bicycles have been manufactured and sold under the brand name Kalkhoff.
In 1919, the 16-year-old rural postman Heinrich Kalkhoff founded the company Kalkhoff in his parents’ home in Cloppenburg. As a postman he often struggled with flat bicycle tires, so now he started to trade in bicycle tires and other bicycle parts.
From 1920 he also traded with used men’s and women’s bicycles and spare parts.
In 1923 Kalkhoff started producing its own bicycle frames with two employees. He had meanwhile expanded the area of his parents’ house with offices and production facilities.
1927 – 1945
In 1927, complete bicycles left the production site. He purposefully expanded the small business via an assembly company into a globally active bicycle factory. With manual work “Made in Germany”, low sales prices and the successful adaptation to the design maintenance of foreign countries market Kalkhoff was successful.
In 1936, 250,000 bicycles with 40 employees were already manufactured in Cloppenburg. The Kalkhoff plants thus represented one of the most important employers in the structurally weak region around Cloppenburg.
1936 – 1945 the bicycle production was stopped. The Kalkhoff plants were forced to produce armaments.
After 1945, the factory initially manufactured only non-automotive industrial goods: potato steamers for pig fattening, truck trailers and kitchen stoves.
1950 – 1968
Only in 1950 was the bicycle production again in the center. During this time, the bicycle industry experienced an enormous demand boom. For the company worked at times 1,200 employees in the handlebar, seat post and impeller production. Even the cranksets were even punched and refined in their own electroplating. At that time, the daily production reached 5,000 frames.
In 1970, due to the high demand on today’s premises in Cloppenburg another factory was built including the dispatch warehouse. In 1972, the five millionth wheel was celebrated here.
The Kalkhoff brand always had a flair for trends and produced according to the zeitgeist: While in the 60s the high profile of professional cycling promoted the sale of racing bikes, from 1968 the “trim-you-movement” led to new product lines, the exercise bike and fitness center. sports equipment.
1972 – TODAY
Heinrich Kalkhoff died in Cloppenburg in 1972. Already in 1968 he had handed over the management to his three sons Berthold, Karl and Heinz.
In the mid-80s, the family business had to file for bankruptcy, and the Kalkhoff brothers and the bicycle brand went their separate ways from now on. Since then, the Kalkhoff brand has been part of the Derby Cycle works.
Derby Cycle Holding GmbH is Germany’s top-selling bicycle manufacturer and third-largest manufacturer in Europe. Out of conviction, the Kalkhoff brand relies on production in Germany and is still producing in the former Kalkhoff plants.
German engineering quality combined with innovative technology and design: this is Kalkhoff’s lived conviction of “Made in Germany”.