Thomas Goering sent over 27 images from his personal archives of the company’s 20-year history. Check out these images and captions that only Thomas himself could come up with…

KHE was started in 1988; what was the state of BMX like back then, and how has it change over the twenty years you have been serving the freestyle community?
When we started KHE, the biggest problem was that all the BMX companies jumped into the mountain bike market because that is when mountain bikes became big. There were not many good parts out anymore. S&M started in 1987 (if I'm correct), so that was good too. This was why my friends and I thought about making some good pegs with German alloy and later followed up with the Grinddisc.
Check out this photo and others from the KHE archive by clicking here!

As a company owner, I’m sure you’ve told this story a million times; but tell us all how KHE evolved from an idea into a company that would stick around for twenty years…
I’ll start from the beginning… I started to ride BMX when I was 10—this was 1981. When I was 16 I learned something like Micro Mechanic, and bought a pair of Tioga Roll-On pegs, but the thread was destroyed real fast. My brother Wolfgang started a normal job around this time where he earned real money for the first time. Then we spent 800DM (around $600) and bought a small drilling machine. This was 1988. Then we ordered some alloy tubes…my mother was really surprised when the truck driver was ringing on the door and said here are a few big alloy tubes for Thomas Goering.

In the beginning I cut each peg by myself, so each peg had a slightly different length. The idea was to stamp our company name on each peg, but for this I needed something small. After I talked with my friends, we had an idea to use the name of our city! If you abriviate Karlsruhe, it’s K’he. We thought KHE sounded good in English, so the name was born.

To be in the business for so long is really hard because things always change. In the beginning we just did real rider parts because that is where I came from. But after a few years we were nearly bankrupt because to live just from hardcore stuff (which was uncommon at the time) and also give away so many free parts to all of our team riders was just too much. Finally we started with beginner freestyle bikes and this was, at this time, the best decision. Things started to grow, but on the other side we lost the core image. People said doing mainstream stuff was not cool. Anyway, the company grew step by step and we always did high-end stuff.

In the last four of five years we really got back into the hardcore market again where we came from so now it is much more fun for our 25 employees. We were lucky with a lot of our products that did real well like the butted-handle bars we came up with first, the folding tired became real big for us, Bruce Crisman freecoaster hubs, all our flatland stuff we put so much energy in the last few years…the high end market is growing really fast for us. I’m happy with how things turned out and I have loved my job each day for the past 20 years—even if there were a lot of difficult years. I try to always think positive and that’s important.
Check out this photo and others from the KHE archive by clicking here!

It seems that KHE has put a lot of emphasis on product innovation over the years; what do you think are some of the more innovative products KHE has produced and how have they affected the market?
The fist one was the Grinddisc that changed the bush guard frames back in the day. But it’s still alive if you look at the Odyssey Million Dollar Sprocket, for example. Of course it got smaller and lighter, but the main idea comes from the Grinddisc.

For sure, the multiple butted 2pc bars we did… We had them exclusively for one year with the bar manufacturer, but after that year, every company followed. It was funny because we didn’t sell very many in the first year because the bars were so much lighter than all the other bars out there so people thought they couldn’t be very strong.

After that, we were the first to make the foldable freestyle tires. Of course, foldable tires are an old idea, but no one used them for freestyle before. It’s great to see so many other companies following now to make the bikes lighter. The same goes for the KHE Loyal seat (saddle-post combo)… The design has been used in racing for more than 20 years, but it works perfectly for the street and dirt riders, too. Just about ever rider has the same seat angle, so having things adjustable makes them weigh morand cost more and just isn’t necessary. The cost of the combo will be the same as a normal seat by itself. I think this part will become much stronger in the future, too.

The street freecoaster hub with Bruce Crisman is something that brings freecoasters from flatland to street. There will also be a new freecoaster coming out called the Astern (also a Bruce Crisman signature). On the new one, you’ll be able to change the pedal gap from the outside of the hub so you don’t have to open the hub to adjust it. It is so precise that you can make the hub feel like a cassette. This is perfect for riders who don’t like to ride with freecoasters because of the slack in the drivetrain. Riders will be able to try them out and get used to them, then change the gap to the size they want.

Being in the BMX industry for two decades has to produce some wild scenarios and stories; tell us one outrageous story from the company’s history that no one will believe…
When we tried to make our first frame (the Catweazle), we had no Taiwan connections. The biggest problem was getting good CroMo tubes in Germany because the big tube makers always asked how many 100meters you need for each diameter. Finally I got a company who made the inner safety tubes for rally cars because they were the same diameter as the top and down tubes. Then I got lucky and was able to buy from Motobecane (in France). They built a lot of BMX bikes in the 80s and had a lot of tubes still in stock.

Finally we sent all the tubes to Russia because we had good connections there that would weld the frames, powder coat them, and send them back to Germany. Or sometimes we bought the alloy tubes from Germany and sent them to Russia—the only tubes you could get in Russia were on the black market and you never knew what kind of alloy you were getting. When the alloy pegs got sent back to Germany I had to pick them in my old Ford from the airport.

One time the customs at the Frankfurt, Germany airport wanted to see what we were receiving. The boxes were full of steel pegs that looked like weapons and the boxes had all these Russian signs and writings on them. Think about how you would explain to customs that these alloy parts are pegs for BMX bikes and not some special weapons…

Another funny story… We designed a chainwheel with a gravity style KHE logo that was made and printed in Taiwan. Then six months later at Interbike, Redline had a complete line of bikes with our KHE chainwheel on them. Redline probably didn’t know what the fuck KHE was and just liked the red and black colors. The Taiwan makers didn’t care if they sold our product to someone else. That was crazy to me.

KHE has done a great job of catering to flatland riders as well as ramp/street riders; how important is it for the company to have the best of both worlds? Are there two sides to the company or is there a lot of crossover?
Many riders see us more as a flatland company, but I think this has changed over the past year or two. There are so many companies who focus on flatland stuff. To make good flatland parts, you must be 100% in the sport and always check with the riders to see what they like and where the trends and tricks are going. It’s not easy…

In the last couple of years, flatland and street has become more and more close together…of course, the seats have different positions though.

Some of the parts that have crossover are the pegs, plastic pedals, freecoasters, tires, and rims. And many flat riders are using 2pc bars too. Frames are becoming more diamond shaped in flat, and park/street frames will soon get close to the same weight as flatland frames.


Check out this photo and others from the KHE archive by clicking here!

What does KHE have in store for ’08, and what is the five-year or long-term plans for the company?
My main goal right now is to finish the ’09 bikes that will come out in August/September this year.

I don’t think I’ve ever worked on so many projects at the same time as I am right now. But it is possible because of the great team behind me. Guiom Jung from France helps me a lot with the ideas and is real good on 3D drawings. After we get the ideas and drawings, we check with our manufactures to see what is really possible.

Bram Verhallen from The Netherlands also helps me draw and text flatland parts, so a big thanks goes to him. I try to work with as few manufactures as possible and work with them on making our new ideas come to life. Through the years I have found out which ones are best for us. I hate when manufactures say it’s not possible—I think there is always a way. With the manufacturers we have now we can really improve things. Can’t wait to get all the new stuff!

Right now we are working on a “light” MAC1.5 (1.9″) folding tire. Our tire is already the lightest out there, but we can now use an even stronger material. So we will have less material, but with added strength.

In the long-term, I think things will not change very much. I’ll just try to improve our stuff like we have always done.

The plan for the near future is to make more high end complete bikes that are tailored for street, dirt, park, and flat. Our new parts will help make these bikes better and better.

The good thing is that we build all of our bikes in Germany so we can use all kinds of parts we like and do have to resort to using Taiwan parts. This makes it a lot easier to offer quality bikes because in Taiwan you always have minimum quantities, which would be hard with bikes over $1000.

Thomas Goering sent over 27 images from his personal archives of the company’s 20-year history. Check out these images and captions that only Thomas himself could come up with…


20 Years of KHE – A Timeline Of The Company

1988:
KHE was founded by Thomas Goering, a passionate freestyler from Karlsruhe and his older brother Wolfgang Goering. The first offered product was a peg (Do-Peg), made with a small drilling machine.

1990:
KHE invented the Grinddisc in cooperation with Albert Retey. It abolished the bashguard frames.

1991:
The next invention was the first BMX clamp fork without KHElding. After that came the first two bolt seatclamp and the 10mm and 14mm freecoaster with sealed bearing hub following.

1992:
KHE released the first catalogue. The highlights: Fuss-Pegs, freecoaster hub and fork.

1993:
Albert Retey designed our first frame, and it was called the “CatKHEasle”.

Jason Davies designed the “Beater”.

1996:
The “Premium Lagger” (by Jesse Puente) brought a whole new generation of flatland frames into the scene. The geometry designed especially for flatland riders purposes was the blueprint for many other frames.

“Beater” street/ramp frame designed by Jason Davies.

KHE Fitness video was released.

1999:
KHE created the “Dirty Buster”, a signature bike for the German erotic star “Dolly Buster”.

2000:
KHE came out with many new lightKHEight parts like the “Easy Rider” frame, alloy flat fork and the alloy Phil Dolan bar.

The biggest move in our 16 year long history was for sure the new “System Diatech” rotor. KHE and Dia Compe/Diatech developed this revolutionary new rotor system in the last four years which offers possibilities for new ideas and designs. Today, the internal system is made by VP components, one of the biggest headset makers, and Jagwire, the producer of the cables and the ro and what is the five-year or long-term plans for the company?
My main goal right now is to finish the ’09 bikes that will come out in August/September this year.

I don’t think I’ve ever worked on so many projects at the same time as I am right now. But it is possible because of the great team behind me. Guiom Jung from France helps me a lot with the ideas and is real good on 3D drawings. After we get the ideas and drawings, we check with our manufactures to see what is really possible.

Bram Verhallen from The Netherlands also helps me draw and text flatland parts, so a big thanks goes to him. I try to work with as few manufactures as possible and work with them on making our new ideas come to life. Through the years I have found out which ones are best for us. I hate when manufactures say it’s not possible—I think there is always a way. With the manufacturers we have now we can really improve things. Can’t wait to get all the new stuff!

Right now we are working on a “light” MAC1.5 (1.9″) folding tire. Our tire is already the lightest out there, but we can now use an even stronger material. So we will have less material, but with added strength.

In the long-term, I think things will not change very much. I’ll just try to improve our stuff like we have always done.

The plan for the near future is to make more high end complete bikes that are tailored for street, dirt, park, and flat. Our new parts will help make these bikes better and better.

The good thing is that we build all of our bikes in Germany so we can use all kinds of parts we like and do have to resort to using Taiwan parts. This makes it a lot easier to offer quality bikes because in Taiwan you always have minimum quantities, which would be hard with bikes over $1000.

Thomas Goering sent over 27 images from his personal archives of the company’s 20-year history. Check out these images and captions that only Thomas himself could come up with…


20 Years of KHE – A Timeline Of The Company

1988:
KHE was founded by Thomas Goering, a passionate freestyler from Karlsruhe and his older brother Wolfgang Goering. The first offered product was a peg (Do-Peg), made with a small drilling machine.

1990:
KHE invented the Grinddisc in cooperation with Albert Retey. It abolished the bashguard frames.

1991:
The next invention was the first BMX clamp fork without KHElding. After that came the first two bolt seatclamp and the 10mm and 14mm freecoaster with sealed bearing hub following.

1992:
KHE released the first catalogue. The highlights: Fuss-Pegs, freecoaster hub and fork.

1993:
Albert Retey designed our first frame, and it was called the “CatKHEasle”.

Jason Davies designed the “Beater”.

1996:
The “Premium Lagger” (by Jesse Puente) brought a whole new generation of flatland frames into the scene. The geometry designed especially for flatland riders purposes was the blueprint for many other frames.

“Beater” street/ramp frame designed by Jason Davies.

KHE Fitness video was released.

1999:
KHE created the “Dirty Buster”, a signature bike for the German erotic star “Dolly Buster”.

2000:
KHE came out with many new lightKHEight parts like the “Easy Rider” frame, alloy flat fork and the alloy Phil Dolan bar.

The biggest move in our 16 year long history was for sure the new “System Diatech” rotor. KHE and Dia Compe/Diatech developed this revolutionary new rotor system in the last four years which offers possibilities for new ideas and designs. Today, the internal system is made by VP components, one of the biggest headset makers, and Jagwire, the producer of the cables and the rotor. For 2002 frames KHE designed special new top and down tubes. These new CrMo CONE tubes make our bikes lighter and much stronger on the front of the bike, where it is needed.

2002:
KHE designed special top and down tubes for our new frames. These CrMo CONE tubes made the bikes lighter and much stronger in the front.

2003:
KHE worked on a lot new parts like cranks, alloy stem/bar combo, seatclamp, pedals, flat pegs, seatpost and new frames like the “Goldfinger” flatland frame.

The complete bike line changed a lot:After a really long time period KHE cancelled our “Beater” and “Dirty Harry” bikes and filled up the vacant space with our new high-end Street bike “Mad Max”.For the old “Cosmic” came the new “Derrick” entry level Street model, equipped with a Grindguard CD.

The Easy Rider was more a high end image flat bike especially made for our team riders. But KHE did not expect the Easy Rider being a big seller like in 2002, for this reason KHE topped the 2002 model and made many new own KHE parts KHE also sell separately in our new part line.

2004:
KHE built up a worldwide team. In the US, KHE sponsored riders like Shaun Butler, Cory Walters and Jesse Puente.

2005:
KHE introduced the new high-end part and bike line, focused on technique, strength and low KHEight.

Our Pro bike models called BUTLER Pro, MIDGET Pro and “Equilibrium” (Jesse Puente’s signature Pro model) KHEre equipped with the new “F-SET Pro” rotor system.

KHE introduced the world´s first 20″ folding tire, the “KHE MAC tire” which is also the lightest BMX tire on the market.

2006:
KHE presented our new freecoaster, called the “Geisha”.

KHE introduced the lightest flatland complete bike (with a KHEight under 10kg / 22lbs) and the first entrance level flatland bike (“Stylus”) on the market with a freecoaster hub.

2007:
KHE created many new products for example the “SwissMiss” bar, the dirt folding tire, the unbelievable light KHEight “paris” flatland frame.

KHE introduced the first 14mm Street freecoaster. It startet with the Geisha Street and proceeded with the Bruce Chrisman signature “Reverse” freecoaster with a solid axle.

2008:
KHE starts the year with a lot of new lightKHEight parts, for example the plastic-glass fibre “Alchemy” pegs, the “Cirrus” bar or the “Cirrus” fork.

Over the years, KHE gained a good reputation in the scene. For example, BMX companies like Mirraco (tires on high-end complete bikes), FIT (freecoaster on high-end complete bikes) or federal (freecoaster) use KHE parts and technology for their products.

For 2008 KHE is proud to present a new brand for saftey gear, called COPE.

Team Riders Throughout The Years:
Albert Retey, Alex Jumelin, Alex Reinke, Alfredo Mancuso, Ali B., Armin Batoumeni, Atze Etzold, Basti Gross, Benjamin Shenker, Bram Verhallen, Chase Gouin, Chris Bohm, Christian KHEndland, Cory Stratychuck, Cory Walters, Dan Margetts, Daniel Fuhrmann, Effraim Catlow, Florian Sailer, Giannis, Harold Wagner, Harry Main, Harry Schmid, James Foster, Lee Musselwhite, Lionel Cardoso, Marc Matter, Mark Cornick, Markus Grempel, Markus Wilke, Marton Szilagy, Matthias Dandois, Martti Kuoppa, Michael Grossi, Mike Canning, Milan Haspeklo, Ollie Mattheew, Patrick Schwarzenecker, Pavel Caha, Petr Papousek, Phil Aller, Phil Dolan, Pierre Hinz, Sas Kaykha, Shaun Butler, Stefan Geisler, Stumpy Mason, Sven Steinbach, Thomas Goring, Thomas Stellwag, Todd Rolfe, Ulrich Kittel, Waldemar Fatkin, Wolfgang Saunter, York Uno

Thomas Goering sent over 27 images from his personal archives of the company’s 20-year history. Check out these images and captions that only Thomas himself could come up with…

e rotor. For 2002 frames KHE designed special new top and down tubes. These new CrMo CONE tubes make ouur bikes lighter and much stronger on the front of the bike, where it is needed.

2002:
KHE designed special top and down tubes for our new frames. These CrMo CONE tubes made the bikes lighter and much stronger in the front.

2003:
KHE worked on a lot new parts like cranks, alloy stem/bar combo, seatclamp, pedals, flat pegs, seatpost and new frames like the “Goldfinger” flatland frame.

The complete bike line changed a lot:After a really long time period KHE cancelled our “Beater” and “Dirty Harry” bikes and filled up the vacant space with our new high-end Street bike “Mad Max”.For the old “Cosmic” came the new “Derrick” entry level Street model, equipped with a Grindguard CD.

The Easy Rider was more a high end image flat bike especially made for our team riders. But KHE did not expect the Easy Rider being a big seller like in 2002, for this reason KHE topped the 2002 model and made many new own KHE parts KHE also sell separately in our new part line.

2004:
KHE built up a worldwide team. In the US, KHE sponsored riders like Shaun Butler, Cory Walters and Jesse Puente.

2005:
KHE introduced the new high-end part and bike line, focused on technique, strength and low KHEight.

Our Pro bike models called BUTLER Pro, MIDGET Pro and “Equilibrium” (Jesse Puente’s signature Pro model) KHEre equipped with the new “F-SET Pro” rotor system.

KHE introduced the world´s first 20″ folding tire, the “KHE MAC tire” which is also the lightest BMX tire on the market.

2006:
KHE presented our new freecoaster, called the “Geisha”.

KHE introduced the lightest flatland complete bike (with a KHEight under 10kg / 22lbs) and the first entrance level flatland bike (“Stylus”) on the market with a freecoaster hub.

2007:
KHE created many new products for example the “SwissMiss” bar, the dirt folding tire, the unbelievable light KHEight “paris” flatland frame.

KHE introduced the first 14mm Street freecoaster. It startet with the Geisha Street and proceeded with the Bruce Chrisman signature “Reverse” freecoaster with a solid axle.

2008:
KHE starts the year with a lot of new lightKHEight parts, for example the plastic-glass fibre “Alchemy” pegs, the “Cirrus” bar or the “Cirrus” fork.

Over the years, KHE gained a good reputation in the scene. For example, BMX companies like Mirraco (tires on high-end complete bikes), FIT (freecoaster on high-end complete bikes) or federal (freecoaster) use KHE parts and technology for their products.

For 2008 KHE is proud to present a new brand for saftey gear, called COPE.

Team Riders Throughout The Years:
Albert Retey, Alex Jumelin, Alex Reinke, Alfredo Mancuso, Ali B., Armin Batoumeni, Atze Etzold, Basti Gross, Benjamin Shenker, Bram Verhallen, Chase Gouin, Chris Bohm, Christian KHEndland, Cory Stratychuck, Cory Walters, Dan Margetts, Daniel Fuhrmann, Effraim Catlow, Florian Sailer, Giannis, Harold Wagner, Harry Main, Harry Schmid, James Foster, Lee Musselwhite, Lionel Cardoso, Marc Matter, Mark Cornick, Markus Grempel, Markus Wilke, Marton Szilagy, Matthias Dandois, Martti Kuoppa, Michael Grossi, Mike Canning, Milan Haspeklo, Ollie Mattheew, Patrick Schwarzenecker, Pavel Caha, Petr Papousek, Phil Aller, Phil Dolan, Pierre Hinz, Sas Kaykha, Shaun Butler, Stefan Geisler, Stumpy Mason, Sven Steinbach, Thomas Goring, Thomas Stellwag, Todd Rolfe, Ulrich Kittel, Waldemar Fatkin, Wolfgang Saunter, York Uno

Thomas Goering sent over 27 images from his personal archives of the company’s 20-year history. Check out these images and captions that only Thomas himself could come up with…