The engineering and assembly teams at Trickstuff in Freiberg, German, conduct themselves quite differently from the competition. Every brake is assembled by the hands of a single mechanic, to the customer’s precise specifications. Though their tight six-person team has grown to 21 over the past three years, you still might receive an email reply from one of the lead engineers. Everyone there has done each job in the company at some point.
The squad recently decided to close up shop for a few months, restructure their ordering, manufacturing, and sales processes, and to launch a new website. The old space was a key limiting factor in their lead times, and they say that the new factory will have three times as much floor to fill with brake builders and testing equipment.
Given the wave of orders from “The Great Coronavirus Bike Buying Bonanza” the stock at Trickstuff had run dry, and everyone was working long into the evening to try and reorganize and scrape together efficiency. That didn’t work, so they decided to stop production altogether and fully rework their operating systems with the hope that next year they can release some of the many new products that have been patiently waiting on the shelves while shortening their current year-long lead times for brake sets. One of the founders of Trickstuff mentioned that since customers are now experiencing longer lead times with all manufacturers, folks are a little more patient about the time it takes to receive a hand-built brake system.
If the wires just clicked together in your brain, reward yourself — they will be hiring for new mechanic and sales positions in Freiberg soon. No, you do not have to speak German, and yes, you do have to have a massive amount of knowledge and understanding about how brakes function.
Dag Freudenhammer from Trickstuff said that “in our shutdown we can ship products like brake pads and we can still build brakes. If you’ve ordered something in the past we’re still on schedule for this.” They plan to relaunch the website as soon as it’s ready, and reopen their selling structure by February 15th or earlier.
Following this revamp the brakes will still be built one by one, by hand, with great care and attention to detail. Precise engineering and quality-control at every step is what the brand is known for, and they won’t compromise that process. It’s who they are.