Urban Tales


In this portrait, Schindelhauer introduces its long-time premium dealer bikedudes.

Daniel Högerle didn’t agree with the way his former bosses were acting and so he decided to open his own bike shop together with Dennis. What started with a few used bikes has now developed into a full-fledged bike shop and the two now also sell Schindelhauer bikes to finance ministers.

How it all began

I did a craftsman internship in a bicycle shop in 10th grade. I've been in the bicycle industry ever since. I quickly realized that this was the industry for and after school I completed my training as a bicycle mechanic.

But both Dennis and I disagreed with the way our bosses acted and no longer felt like going along with it. We then decided relatively spontaneously that we wanted to become self-employed. That was in 2008 and we started repairing and selling used bikes with a few tools that we had at home or were given as gifts. We only had enough money to pay the first month's rent and the deposit for the shop. Fortunately, we've never had to take out a loan.

A friend of mine once said to me: "If you start your own business, don't make the mistake of buying a Mercedes right away if you are successful." And we took that quite literally. The profits were always poured directly into the store and we didn't start living it up as soon as things were going better. And so we managed to go from a few used bikes to a relatively decent bike shop. Our sales area is now 115 square meters and the total area with warehouse and workshop is 380 square meters. We have ten employees, many of whom only work part-time.

Bikes + dudes = bikedudes

I don't know if we would call ourselves that today. Dennis and I lived in a shared apartment and thought about what to call ourselves. Then at some point we came across dude bikes because we'd watched the movie “The Big Lebowski” the day before. We actually already said that we would do it.

But then a friend of ours came along and said we couldn't do that – these are bikes for boys, for buddies. Better turn that around and make it Bike Dudes. In the end, we agreed. And the attitude from the film is of course reflected somewhat in our personality. We're pretty laid back. Dennis, for example, is tattooed from head to toe. We're not the classic bike shop owners.

Christian (branch manager) and Daniel (owner) Christian (branch manager) and Daniel (owner)

From college students to billionaires

Our clientele is actually very mixed. From the student who saves up for the bike for years to the manager who flies in from California. This is a regular customer of ours who comes to Berlin on business once a year, and has his chauffeur drop him off here to shop with us. But we also have a Russian millionaire or even billionaire who comes to us regularly to buy only limited-edition Schindelhauer bicycles. We already know its frame size and usually grab the corresponding bike as soon as a new one comes on the market. I don't think we would have dreamed at the beginning that we would ever have to deal with such customers. We really just wanted to make our own money without a boss to pay our salaries.

On equal footing

What sets us apart from many others is that we have a high-quality range, but are still a relatively young and easy-going team that attaches great importance to customer service. And if a customer is not satisfied, we try very hard to somehow make them a happy customer, too. Unfortunately, small bike shops have a bad reputation, but we want to show people that there is another way. We also don't want to come across as arrogant. The normal older women with their diamond bicycles are treated in the same way as the manager from California. It doesn't matter to us at all – everyone is treated equally.

We have always tried our best and have quite a high level of customer satisfaction and a large customer base. The online reviews are pretty good too, so we seem to have some things done right. (laughs) In addition, we want to treat our employees properly, respect them and pay fairly.

Quality standards

Actually, we don't really go by the brands, but rather look at what the bike has and can do. What we generally don't do are suspension forks – you just don't need them here in the city. We want to offer bicycles for the city and the surrounding area.

The bikes must be high quality in any case. We don't put in a € 350 fully equipped bike because it just doesn't meet our quality standards – it just can't go below € 500–600. But of course the design also plays a role. The respective bike should look beautiful and be appealing. Not just a bike, but also a bit of art.

The first employee

There have been a lot of nice moments, but one of them was definitely our first employee. The enlargement of the shop was also something special as we noticed that we were slowly growing into a real bike shop. Before it was more of a small repair shop and suddenly we were a full-fledged bike store.

Christian (branch manager) Christian (branch manager)


We had our greatest challenge in 2017/2018. At that time, the delivery dates were delayed for all possible manufacturers. Even at Schindelhauer. And then suddenly in the spring, we received everything at once and of course had to pay for everything at the same time. Without an investor and credit, we just stood there and had to see how we could somehow manage it. That was the moment when I got really bummed for the very first time.

Mechanic vs. office manager

I'm a mechanic and that's what I enjoy most. At the moment, however, I only actually sit at the computer and do office work. Occasionally, I still help assemble new bikes or sell them. But actually I just sit at my desk and that's what I hate most. But I'm gradually giving up the area so that I can concentrate on the opening at Lake Constance.

Bicycle infrastructure in Berlin

The bicycle infrastructure in Berlin is definitely expandable. Of course, there are now more cycle paths that have been made safer and some of which have also been relocated to the streets. But on the whole far too little has happened. In this respect, the politicians don't give me much hope. Cyclists and citizens must take the initiative. For example, you need to collect more signatures to put pressure on politicians. It's already happening, just too slowly. Houses all over Berlin have been renovated in recent years, but the bike paths have long been forgotten.

"Schindelhauer has definitely helped us a lot in our success."

In 2010, still at the very beginning, Jörg and Stephan on their way in with their rickety VW bus. Back then there were only Viktor and Siegfried as models. We were convinced of the quality and potential from the start. At that time, only very few knew the drive belt as an alternative to the conventional chain. Many dealers were very skeptical of Schindelhauer bikes, but we always want to try new things and have simply added the bikes to our range. Weight and design were of course also decisive. And suddenly Schindelhauer was in Lufthansa magazine and won the Red Dot Design Award. "Schindelhauer has definitely helped us a lot in our success." I don't think we would have come this far without Schindelhauer. The good personal contact is definitely also a factor for the long cooperation. We can also voice our criticism and know that it's heard. This is usually different with other manufacturers.

Mr. Scholz comes in the shop

Olaf Scholz (Federal Minister of Finance) bought his Schindelhauer from us. At that time, we had to cordon off the whole shop and there was an incredible amount of security. However, that was more of an isolated case, but it's probably precisely these people who like to come to us, because we treat them quite normally.

Personal favorite model

Definitely Siegfried. But I think Wilhelm with Pinion is quite ideal for excursions, tours or trips.

Top sellers

There is actually no such thing as a top seller. Sometimes everyone wants Ludwig, then everyone wants Friedrich. Arthur and Antonia are definitely always in great demand. At the moment, it's Greta and Arthur.

Berlin – Lake Constance connection

I will be going back to southern Germany for family reasons so that my children can grow up close to their grandparents. I will then open a shop on Lake Constance. However, the shop in Berlin will remain. Although Dennis is from Berlin, he will also move to Lake Constance. We want to start again there. But it will be tough because there are hardly any bicycles on the market at the moment. Our range actually remains quite similar, although we will be adding a little more gravel and e-bikes to our range. At Schindelhauer, too, we will focus more on e-bike models or models like Wilhelm. We will also expand our web presence with an online shop. I am convinced that pure brick-and-mortar retail will get into trouble in the future if you don't offer anything online. But we're not putting ourselves under any time pressure because we have a pretty solid foundation.

Products introduced