Renak stands for Reichenbacher Naben- & Kupplungwerke. This was a Fichtel & Sachs (F&S) plant that was set up in 1942/3 in Reichenbach (near Chemnitz the home of Diamant, East Germany’s leading bicycle producer).
After 1945 this plant became a separate business (VEB) when Reichenbach became part of the DDR. VEB stands for ‘Volkseigener Betrieb’ (‘organisation owned by the people’), and was the standard form of state owned business in the DDR.
From about 1949 this business used the FuS brand, implicitly standing for ‘Fichtel und Sachs’ but being ever so slightly different from ‘F&S’. In 1954 it decided to stand on its own two feet and replaced the FuS brand with the Renak brand.
Renak manufactured a range of bicycle components, particularly standard hubs and back pedal brake hubs and exported them to over 40 countries. Renak seems to have been a supplier of pull-chain derailleurs to Diamant from 1950 to the mid 1970’s (according to some claims). Diamant may have moved from Renak derailleurs to Tectoron models in the mid 1970’s.
In 1990 Renak was privatised by the Treuhandanstalt and sold to the Tianjin Flying Pigeon Bicycle Co. Ltd, a famous Chinese bicycle manufacturer.
Some employees from Renak started up a new company, using the Renak name, that manufactures a compact hub dynamo, and after a series of moves this company is now based in Itzehoe in northern Germany.