A good idea can take you from your parents’ garage to the international E-Bike market. Today, lots of other ideas from the premium brand Riese & Müller are not only found around Mühltal, but also from Japan and Europe all the way to the USA.
Bike riders, engineers, inventors, friends, entrepreneurs and fathers - Markus Riese and Heiko Müller, the company’s two founders, are all of these. They met during their mechanical engineering studies at the Technical University of Darmstadt at the end of the 1980s and to a certain degree came to be very close. Since this time, they have spent their free time converting bikes and optimising them with their own designs and ideas. Purely a hobby - until Markus had a completely new idea for folding bikes in 1992. If a bike is given full suspension, these points of rotation of the suspension can also be used as points of rotation for folding. The Birdy was born. A completely new, comfortable folding bike that bears no resemblance to the folding bike of the 1970s.
In April 1993, Heiko read about the “Hesse Innovation Prize” in the newspaper. He had to produce an aluminium prototype in 10 days and night shifts. It was first christened Birdy, due to its bird-like properties produced while riding thanks to the full suspension. Then it won the special prize in the competition. This was the push that “Riese & Müller” needed to start up.
In that same year, we set up an improvised stand at Europe's two biggest bicycle trade fairs: Intercycle in Cologne and Eurobike in Friedrichshafen.
With the further development of the Birdy and our first production ideas, we went on a quest for manufacturers at Eurobike 1994. We found a bike manufacturer there who turned Riese & Müller into a real company with the words, “I want to build this bicycle!”. After June 1995, Birdy was officially available to buy in Germany, Japan and the USA.