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Gold medal reclaimed: HP Velotechnik is Germany's 'Best bicycle manufacturer' for 2011

Recumbent manufacturer HP Velotechnik of Kriftel took the Verbund Service und Fahrrad (VSF) group's coveted award for "Best bicycle manufacturer 2011".

For the fifth time, recumbent maker HP Velotechnik of Hessian Kriftel has won the VSF supplier ranking award. "We're very honored to win the 'Best bicycle manufacturers' award for 2011, and we are proud to have improved from third to first place in the ranking," said CEO Paul Hollants. The recumbent specialists, who strive for the highest quality bikes and service, were not satisfied with their bronze medal last year. "We took the suggestions of specialist bicycle dealers about our dealer support, and we thought about how we could improve even more," said Paul Hollants. "The result is that we have invested heavily in and hired new staff for this facet of the business. The rewards to our dealers are now obvious."

The winners were the Kriftelers with an overall score of 1.83, ahead of bicycle manufacturers Patri and Two plus two, both of whom were graded at 1.96. Among the eleven evaluation categories, HP Velotechnik received particularly high marks of 1.4 and 1.3 in product and delivery quality, but specialist bicycle dealers also ranked them high in reliability of supply (1.5). HP Velotechnik has received the award in 2006,2007,2008 and 2009 already, while in 2010 HP Velotechnik received the bronze medal. The rankings are based on the German higher educational grading system where a 1 is "excellent" and a 6 is "failed".

The VSF and Supplier Ranking

The Verbund Service und Fahrrad group is a trade association of bicycle dealers and manufacturers in Germany, and in a yearly retail survey, its 210 members share their experiences with major bicycle manufacturers. There are a total of eleven evaluation categories in the school grade based vendor ranking in areas such as product and delivery quality, customer service, and complaint handling. This year's survey showed that bicycle manufacturers have especially satisfied in areas of care (1.98), delivery quality (2.22), and product quality (2.30).

VSF director Albert Herresthal stresses the importance of the supplier rankings, now in its ninth year, "The dealer assessment serves as a guide to manufacturers. In them, strengths and weaknesses are identified so manufacturers can continue to improve. Our aim continues to be to encourage and strengthen dialogue and cooperation between retailers and manufacturers."

Paul Hollants is also in close cooperation with local bike shops: HP Velotechnik distributes "our bikes exclusively through retailers. A quick test drive is much more impressive a better indicator of the real fun of recumbents than a lot of words over the phone or on the internet. Our belief is that if the dealers are excited about the quality of our recumbent bikes, the customers will feel they've made the right choice.

HP Velotechnik: recumbents from Germany

Paul Hollants and Daniel Pulvermüller, the founders of recumbent manufacturer HP Velotechnik, met each other through their shared passion for innovative bicycle technology and built their first bikes in a garage. Even as students, the two were national winners with their self-designed three-wheeler at the 1992 JUTEC (Youth and Technology) competition hosted by the Association of German Engineers. Upon starting their studies at Darmstadt Technical University in 1993 - Paul Hollants studied industrial engineering, Daniel Pulvermüller studied mechanical engineering - HP Velotechnik was founded. The company name is an acronym of the surnames of the founders and also a play on the English name of the than still considered rather exotic recumbents: Human Powered Vehicles.

Today, the Kriftel, Frankfurt factory operates with 24 employees, producing about 1,300 recumbent bikes per year and is the market leader in Europe. All bikes are built by hand one at a time and to the individual needs of customers. Signs of growth are evident: Following the establishment of recumbent bikes in Germany and Europe, recumbents are being exported in increasing numbers and in distant regions such as America, Australia, and Japan.

"Anyone that chooses a recumbent bike from HP Velotechnik expects an emphasis on reliable quality, extensive support, and short delivery times," said Paul Hollants. HP Velotechnik is committed in exchange. In the large in production hall in Kriftel's Main-Taunus district, the recumbents are made in a one-person assembly area. A welding shop makes its own prototypes and computer controlled test rigs to ensure the quality of the specialty bikes.

Ergonomic design

More and more active people appreciate the fast ride and comfortable seat of the recumbent bike. Paul Hollants is focusing on these characteristic parts of the formula for success. "HP Velotechnik stands for modern, reliable recumbent technology on two and three wheels: a fleet of bikes where you can relax and enjoy the panoramic view. This includes ergonomics and design. Whether on the daily commute or during the great cycling tour around the world - on our bikes, the whole person feels comfortable. You can forget about bruises on the butt, aching wrists and a stiff neck."

Engineer Daniel Pulvermüller is responsible for the technical implementation of a development. His recumbent bike seat invention brings a lot of comfort to an individual: "On a conventional bike saddle, your entire body weight rests on a tiny area of the bony butt Ergonomic Design is pleased to family planning More and more active people appreciate the fast ride and seat comfort on the recumbent bike. Paul Hollants is focusing on these characteristics part of the success formula. "HP Velotechnik stands for modern, reliable Liegeradtechnik to two and three wheels: bicycles fleet, where you can relax and enjoy the panoramic view. This includes ergonomics and design: Whether on the daily commute or during the great cycling tour around the world - on our bikes to the whole man is to feel comfortable. Bruises on the buttocks, aching wrists and a stiff neck, you can forget. " For the technical implementation of a development engineer Daniel is responsible. Lots of comfort brings his invention of a customizable on the recumbent man: "On a conventional bike saddle your entire body weight rests on a tiny area of the bony buttocks," said Daniel Pulvermüller. "The BodyLink seat provides a much larger seating area and is the natural S-shape of the spine. This protects the back. Therefore, doctors often advise that, on a recumbent bike, the intervertebral disc pressure is only a third of what one would endure in the normal, bent forward sitting position. In addition, our recumbents are good for family planning, since no harmful pressure is exerted on the soft tissues as they are on the upright bike."

Laurels are an incentive, not a seat cushion: New at HP Velotechnik Despite reclaiming first place in the VSF supplier's rankings, the Kriftel engineers are not resting on their laurels. For the upcoming 2011 season, HP Velotechnik has created the newly developed Gekko fx foldable recumbent tricycle. It appeals to customers new to the recumbent arena since the basic version is 1990 € and is based on the current market favorite quality recumbent. The key: The Gekko can be used in less than a ten second fold without having to remove the seat from the trike. For e-bike fans, the new racer is exciting because it can be equipped with an optional electric motor.

For those who want to learn about the Hessian Kriftel recumbent manufacturer first hand, HP Velotechnik will open the doors to the factory for an Open House on August 6, 2011. Anyone who wants to try leaning back into a recumbent can find the nearest dealer for test drives by calling 06192-979920 or by visiting www.hpvelotechnik.com.

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2. Die neue Halle von HP Velotechnik
Die Fertigungsstätte der Liegeradmanufaktur HP Velotechnik in der Elisabethenstraße in Kriftel (20x15 cm bei 300dpi, 602K)
3. Die neue Halle von HP Velotechnik
Rahmenvorbereitung der pulverbeschichteten Liegeradrahmen. (20x15 cm bei 300dpi, 2801K)
4. Liegerad Freisteller
Werkstatt, im Vordergrung rechts Daniel Pulvermüller am Reiseliegerad Street Machine (13x10 cm bei 300 dpi, 909K)
5. Liegerad Freisteller
Arne Ulrich, Zweiradmechaniker bei HP Velotechnik, montiert ein Dreirad Scorpion (13x10 cm bei 300 dpi, 805K)
6.
GrassHopper fx gefaltet und ausgefaltet vor ICE (36 x 27 cm bei 300 dpi, 4255K)
7. Entwicklungsingenieur Daniel Pulvermüller testet das Dreirad Scorpion in Frankfurt
Entwicklungsingenieur Daniel Pulvermüller testet das Dreirad Scorpion in Frankfurt (21x16 cm bei 300dpi, 1275K)
8.
GrassHopper fx mit BodyLink-Schalensitz, mit Trägern, Obenlenker, links orientiert (21x28 cm bei 300 dpi, 1187K)

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