DISRAELI DOCUMENTS

Hermann Klaue

German Patent 813,121 - Hermann Klaue main image German Patent 813,121 - Hermann Klaue main image German Patent 813,121 - Hermann Klaue main image


see also German Patent # 813,121 - Hermann Klaue 1950

see also German Patent # 813,121 - Hermann Klaue 1950

German Patent 813,121 - Hermann Klaue thumbnail

Hermann Klaue was an iconoclastic engineer and inventor with a legendary place in German bicycle history - strangely similar to the place that Alex Moulton occupies in British bicycle history.

Hermann Klaue worked extensively in the motor vehicle industry. As early as the 1950s he had a particular interest in small, transverse engined, front wheel drive cars.

Alex Moulton, of course, in the 1950s, designed the hydrolastic suspension of the Austin Mini, the quintessential small, transverse engined, front wheel drive car.

In about 1950 Hermann Klaue designed a mould-breaking, small-wheeled, bicycle with a single main frame tube. This frame was manufactured as a single aluminium casting. The particular metal used was 'Silumin', a lightweight, high strength alloy of alumnium and silicon. Hermann Klaue manufactured these bicycles in Ɯberlingen on the picturesque shores of the Bodensee. These bikes are much prized by bearded German bicycle collectors of a certain age. Hermann Klaue's bicycle business was, how shall we say it, rather moderately financially successful and in about 1957 he sold it to the giant Hercules (of Germany) concern (part of the Fichtel & Sachs empire). They tidied up the design and relaunched it as the Hercules 2000, which enjoyed rather more bountiful sales.

In 1962 Alex Moulton, of course, also launched a a mould-breaking, small-wheeled, bicycle with a single main frame tube. His particular innovation was to add an element of suspension. Alex Moulton, of course, established his factory in picturesque Bradford-on-Avon. Original Moulton bicycles are also, of course, much prized by bearded British bicycle collectors of a certain age. Alex Moulton's bicycle business was, of course, rather moderately financially successful and in about 1967 he sold it to the giant Raleigh concern...

Hermann Klaue appears on this web site because, in 1950, he patented a rear derailleur system specially designed for his beautiful bicycle. The single main frame tube gave an almost pefectly straight cable run, with the cable concealed within the frame in a funkily modern way. I don't know if this derailleur system ever made it into production - I have certainly never seen one.