Transmission pioneer Bernhard Rohloff dies aged 73

The bicycle industry is mourning the loss of one of its own after Bernhard Felix Rohloff died at the age of 73.

After being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, he died peacefully and unexpectedly on Friday, May 19.

Lloyd Townsend, managing director of Ison Distribution, Rohloff’s UK Distributor, said: “I will miss Bernie, he was such a humble and pleasant person.

“His engineering genius produced the World’s most respected internal gear hub. We are proud to have worked with Bernie for more than two decades and send our sincere condolences to all of the family and great folks at Rohloff who will continue Bernie’s great engineering legacy. “

It is thanks to Bernhard Rohloff’s ingenuity that gearbox equipped bicycles were able to establish themselves in the field of sporting use, and have since been portrayed as innovative and stylish products.

Rohloff GmbH was founded by Barbara and Bernhard Rohloff in 1986, along with the registration of the initial S-L-T 99 chain patent.

Two years later the company moved into its new premises in the Mönchebergstraße 30, Kassel, with the first S-L-T 99 chains dispatched to their awaiting customers.

From there, Rohloff premiered the Cash8, an adapter to make Campagnolo cassette hubs compatible with Shimano derailleur cassettes, and 1990 saw Greg Lemond win the Tour de France using an S-L-T 99 chain.

Rohloof continued to lead the way as many innovations launched in the following years with the Speedhub 500/14 becoming its flagship product in 1998.

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As Rohloff celebrated its 20th anniversary, the 50,000th Speedhub was delivered to a customer.

In 2008, the 100,000th Rohloff Speedhub was constructed live at the brand’s Eurobike booth by Bernhard Rohloff himself.

Rohloff continued to keep pace with technological developments in the cycling industry and was awarded the Eurobike Gold Award in 2017 for its E-14 for Bosch e-bikes.

Rohloff prides itself on being able to offer “something for everybody” with the Speedhub 500/14 available on all types of bicycles, including e-bike, MTB, fatbike, tandem, trekking bike, recumbent, and cargo

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