News Article

HNF Heisenberg and Nicolai Merged to HNF Nicolai


BERLIN, Germany – The announced renaming of HNF Heisenberg and Nicolai to HNF Nicolai is more than just a name change and a get-together of the two brands. It also includes a relocation of the Nicolai production as well as a launch of Nicolai mountainbikes through HNF’s B2C sales distribution.

HNF Heisenberg and Nicolai Merged to HNF Nicolai
First model of the newly formed company HNF-Nicolai: HNF’s urban e-bike model. – Photos Jo Beckendorff

“The networks of both brands will be integrated on all levels”, notes Kalle Nicolai of Nicolai GmbH. “The merger will lead to a concentration of strengths, more added value and benefits for our customers. Personally I can now fully concentrate on what I am best at, developing bicycles with passion”.

Background history

The Berlin based e-bike supplier HNF Heisenberg was founded in 2008 and has been relying on a holistic e-mobility concept targeting a design-oriented and technique-interested target group. HNF Heisenberg was started by the trio Michael Hecken (former Grace founder), Kalle Nicolai of Nicolai GmbH and Benjamin Börries.

Nicolai GmbH was started in 1995 by Kalle Nicolai and was offering ‘Made in Germany’ high-quality mountainbikes. He became renowned with rigid enduro and downhill bikes well-known in the international racing scene. Also ambitious amateur riders are relying on Nicolai’s German-Made quality bikes.

Why merge both companies?

Benjamin Börries explained the merger by stating: “Under the brand name HNF Nicolai we will continue to manufacture high-end e-bikes for urban, city, touring and cargo, as well as Nicolai branded MTBs and E-MTBs which have all stemmed from Kalle Nicolai. Overall, the core brand is significantly more focused. Kalle’s reputation in the bicycle industry is unique and the name Nicolai has made us, HNF what it is in the end: A stronger company by and with Kalle Nicolai.”

Michael Hecken confirms: “When talking to our customers it becomes clear that there is much more interest in our HNF brand as the name Nicolai pops up. Kalle Nicolai stands for high-tech engineering, cycling passion and striving for perfection when creating a bike. This is the brand’s core competence and a fundamental component of our company philosophy.”

Independent alloy frame production

Kalle Nicolai underlines that “While most parts of both companies now come together the so-called Nicolai Frameworks GmbH will remain an independent ‘Made in Germany’ aluminum frame production facility. Nevertheless this facility will move 13 kilometres to the north from our legendary Lübbrechtsen-based headquarters to a larger and historical building in Mehle. Our new facility allows us to take the next technological step and increase our capacity.”

Shorter lead times

“Many of our customers want to test and buy their dream bike where it is developed and produced. To offer them this opportunity and to shorten our lead times we wanted to expand our factory. The historical facility in Mehle meets all our requirements while we will also be able to keep the charm of ‘transparent manufacturing,’” underlines Nicolai.

Moreover there will be a change within Nicolai’s bikes distribution. From spring 2018 complete Nicolai relies on exclusive distribution. With 20 permanent salesmen, HNF has been able to develop a pioneering position since the start with consumer direct sales. “Just as with HNF, Nicolai’s customers will now be able to enjoy a test drive and consultation at home, short delivery times, distribution directly from stock as well as a mobile on-site service,” explains Kalle Nicolai. “We know from experience this work very good especially for introducing and explaining innovative concepts, such as Geolution geometry or EBOXX technology.”



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