“From the very beginning, we had a clear idea of what we wanted to offer our customers,” the two company founders Werner and Wolfgang von Hacht remember. The product always came first - and still does. Providing the customer with the best possible bike for their needs remains an essential part of the engineering work at STEVENS. Mountain bikes were the first bikes we made. The initial model range that kicked off the brand was a direct result of the MTB boom that spilled over from the US to Europe. After the first MTB and trekking bikes were produced, it was then onto racing bikes to include some made of full carbon. STEVENS was, in fact since 1991, one of the carbon bike pioneers.
With a sporting history, comes a development advantage
The fact that STEVENS quickly established itself as a bicycle manufacturer was partly due to the sporting past of the two brothers Wolfgang and Werner. Coming from the von Hacht cycling family, both were excellent cyclists who continue to incorporate their accumulated know-how into the development of STEVENS bikes. “As in sport, a company can only work with a good team. And we had that from the very beginning,” says Werner von Hacht. Many employees from the early years are still active with us - a sign of the staff’s high level of identification with the brand and the company.
Through their own Von Hacht Cycling Shop in Eppendorf that began on 40 sqm in 1979, the entrepreneurs have always maintained close contact with their customers. In 1990, another Hamburg cyclist - Volker Dohrmann - joined the company. From the foundation of the company in 1991, he was the first STEVENS product manager, with contacts to suppliers in Europe and Asia, and pushed the development of the brand. In 1994, the Eppendorf shop and the STEVENS brand parted ways. Within a very short time, STEVENS grew from retailer to wholesaler and finally to renowned manufacturer. But the close proximity to the customer has always remained. For 30 years, STEVENS has stood behind a close partnership with their specialized retailers.
Close proximity to the racing scene has also accompanied the brand since its foundation. STEVENS quickly became the leading cyclocross brand in Germany and Europe. Numerous world and European champions ride or rode STEVENS. But STEVENS is not only making a name for itself as a supplier of athletes in cyclocross. The best riders also count on these fast, capable bikes from Hamburg to conquer both road and MTB competitions.
New challenges due to micromobility revolution
The family-owned bicycle manufacturing company is now celebrating its 30th year in existence. STEVENS currently employs over 100 people in its Hamburg headquarters and in production. It has been especially key to have such a large, strong team in order to handle the tremendous challenges that were faced during 2020. Due to this period of adjustment, the whole bicycle industry continues to be in a state of flux. With micromobility on a serious rise, e-bikes and pedelecs are becoming increasingly popular – especially in urban areas. More than ever, the bicycle represents the future. “The Corona pandemic has once again intensified the bicycle boom,” says Wolfgang von Hacht. “People want to get outside, move around, be mobile. The bicycle is more suitable for this than almost any other piece of sports equipment or otherwise.”
With the constantly increasing demand, the challenges for STEVENS as a manufacturer are also growing. But the company faces these challenges like all others in the past 30 years - with creativity, a down-to-earth approach, courage and enthusiasm – lots of it! Our approach is clearly successful as our development work in growing segments such as E-MTB and Gravel has been repeatedly awarded by reputable trade magazines. The STEVENS product portfolio continues to grow and thrive, as trends are quickly identified and bikes are created and evolved to match the expected demands and needs of the consumers. “We would never have dreamed of the status quo,” says Wolfgang von Hacht, pleased with the current state of the company. And the goals for the next 30 years? “We are growing with the challenges of the future and plan to let the fun of developing bikes flow even more into our products.” Quite the Hanseatic down-to-earth view. And so, here’s to the next 30 years… never stop!