It is thanks to his ingenuity that gearbox equipped bicycles were also able to establish themselves in the field of sporting use, and have since been portrayed anew, as innovative and stylish products.
Bernhard Felix Rohloff, who was suffering from Parkinson's disease, died peacefully and unexpectedly on Friday, May 19, 2023 at the age of 73.



"Bernie" was an inspiration for the bicycle industry, always with a penchant for the small details.



Born on February 21st, 1950 in Lengenfeld, Germany, Bernie grew up in Kassel and began his technical career with an apprenticeship as an office machine mechanic at Olympia. After successfully completing his mechanical engineering studies, he found employment at the Daimler Benz plant in Kassel and later as a freelance developer.
Later in 1986, Bernie founded together with his wife Barbara the ‘Rohloff GmbH’. As technical director, Bernie developed the ‘Rohloff S-L-T 99’ derailleur bicycle chain. A development which saw huge success throughout the 90’s, in part thanks to the victories of Greg LeMond and Miguel Indurain at the Tour de France and World Road Championships. In the years that followed, the popularity of the ‘S-L-T 99’ chain accelerated to cult-status, and the Rohloff product range expanded to include various high-quality bicycle tools – tools which have stood the test of time and are still available from quality bicycle retailers today.
The now legendary Rohloff SPEEDHUB 14-speed IGH was introduced at the IFMA show back in 1996, and since then, the name of Bernhard Rohloff has been inextricably linked to bicycle drive technology. This one innovation alone, has clearly pushed the boundaries of possibility and continues to set new standards to this very day.

But all that aside, Bernie was much more than just a brilliant inventor. He was an inspiring character who could not only impress with his expertise, but also respected and had time for the ideas and concerns of his employees. It is this humanity which made him a role model people trusted and were happy to follow.
Bernie leaves a void which simply cannot be filled. With him, the bicycle industry not only loses a visionary, but also an exceptionally warm and approachable character.
We will miss his sincere and humorous manner – a trait which never failed to bring a smile to your face.

Condolence address: Rohloff AG, Mönchswiese 11, 34233 Fuldatal, Germany: abschied at rohloff.de


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