The team behind the igus:bike – Head of igus:bike Marketing and Sales
In addition to various developers, there are of course many other colleagues working on the igus:bike in various capacities. We will hear from them here. We will start with Sven, Head of igus:bike Marketing and Sales.
Hello, Sven. Would you care to introduce yourself briefly?
My name is Sven Terhardt. I live in Cologne and am responsible for the igus:bike department at igus.
What was the first bike you bought?
That’s a good question, I grew up in a bicycle town (at least by German standards) and have ridden lots of bicycles throughout my life – definitely more than one for each year of my life. But I think the first bike I bought with my own money came from Cologne, oddly enough, like the igus:bike. It was a racing bike from “Goldrad”, a Cologne company that built bicycles in Cologne from 1892 to 1998. It was an old, rusty racing bike with an analogue speedometer – perfect for my early student days. That makes me even happier that we’re bringing out bikes #madeincologne again with the igus:bike – but these bikes don’t rust.
Sven at the HMI exhibition grounds in Hannover
The igus:bike – an eye-catcher at any trade show
When did you join igus, and why did you decide to come here?
I started here at the beginning of this year (2023). Before that, I worked for an e-bike manufacturer in the Netherlands. Personal reasons drew me back to Cologne, where I had studied, and one thing was clear: I wanted to keep working with bicycles. After great conversations, I was really happy to be able to join such a great, extraordinary project. We are doing something that has never been done before.
What are your duties at igus?
We are sort of a small start-up here in a large company (igus has 4,600 employees worldwide and 2,400 at the Cologne headquarters). So my area of responsibility is very diverse, ranging from daily discussions about development planning with our engineers to discussions with potential customers and suppliers and everything in between. I particularly enjoy working closely with mtrl, our Dutch development partner. A highlight was also the HMI trade show and of course Eurobike. I can hardly wait for the first small series production of the plastic bicycles, which will begin soon.
Who is the igus:bike recommended for, and who is it not recommended for?
Anyone who lives in the city, in flat, rural areas, or by the sea should definitely consider the igus:bike as an alternative. The big advantage is that you can leave the bike out in the rain, and it won’t rust. Not even in salty sea wind. Anyone who wants to buy a sustainable product in the bicycle industry, which is fundamentally not very sustainable, should look at the igus:bike, because in the future the bicycle will largely be made from recycled material right here in Cologne.
Could you give us an overview of where the project currently stands and what will happen with the igus:bike in the next few months?
We have made more minimal changes to the design, and the mould for the frame is currently in production. For example, the updated model also has a plastic seat post, and all of our new motion plastics parts will be installed in the bike. We are now (September 2023) close to the first small series production and will test the bikes intensively, sometimes on the road with non-igus employees – real-life tests, in other words.
It’s very fulfilling to see how we come up with new ideas in meetings and through testing. Many of the ideas work, and some don’t – sometimes it takes a little patience. But I am very positive that the single-speed version of the igus:bike (the one without gears) will be available for purchase in time for the start of the next season in spring, at least in the Cologne area.
What happens after the product launch – are more models being planned?
While we are working on the single-speed bike, we are also developing a bike with plastic gears and an electric version. A children’s bicycle is also being planned. Its prototype has always been very well received by visitors at trade shows. These are very exciting, innovative projects not planned for sale in 2024, at least not yet. But we may present one or two prototypes as usual. #staytuned
igus:bike and the children’s bike prototypes