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Lüders Bahnrad

There is no doubt that Karl-Heinz Lüders belongs to most admired and regarding the titles won with his competition bikes particularly successful German frame builders. While his original profession was an orthopaedic specialist, he built his first frames for himself in the early 60ties and raced them. In 1962 he opened a bicycle shop in Charlottenburg, a quarter of Berlin. Lüders took the chance when he met Sigi Renz who was a star of the velodrome races in the 60ties. When the champion of the Western German National Road Race in 1963 spoke to Lüders, he complaint about his Masi frame – it is too soft. Lüders offered him to build a frame stiffer than Masi did. Sigi Renz was impressed by his new Lüders frame and became a regular customer of master Lüders. In an interview Lüders said that his way to make a frame stiffer was to use tubes with larger diameter. But in these days the size of the tubes was limited to the size of the lugs and the fittings of the bottom bracket shells available. Logically he decided to make his own shell which he milled out of the solid steel. So he could braze larger chain stays on it. Together with larger seat stays he remarkably improved the stiffness of the rear triangle. Additionally to this he also milled his own fork-bridge which could embrace wider fork blades. In its time a Lüders frame appeared massive but it was still well-proportioned. In the following years Lüders became a kind of an insider tip among riders. Until the late 70ies master Lüders was the most preferred frame builder of Germany to professional and amateur riders who won several national and international races with his bikes, like the German champion Dieter Kemper. As well the Western German National Team used Lüders bikes for their races. But many of his competition bikes where labelled with other brands or names of team sponsors like the one pictured as well. Lüders was a perfectionist and his frames are stiff, reliably strong and they work simply well. He was a precise and diligent working craftsman and executed all work by himself. Even when his order book was overfull Lüders decided not to move onto a manufacturing production process. He refused making a career like Masi, Colnago or DeRosa. He looked at himself as a frame builder not as a business man. He did not expand his business or render it to others by following the call of investors. When you see a Lüders bike in original colours you can be sure that the master carried out all the works by himself. He worked out the construction and the technical drawings. He did the cutting of the tubes, the brazing, the painting and the lug lining by himself. He even put the decals on by himself. Every detail of the frame is as accurate as it could possibly be. Lüders even produced sleeve nuts for the brakes which had his name engraved instead of Campagnolo. Accordingly you do not see a Lüders very often. But every time you see one, it catches your eyes with its beautiful sportive appearance and superb quality. Of cause almost everybody who owns a Lüders is obsessed with it and wants to keep it. It is not an easy task to find a Lüders that fits your size and preferences and convince the owner to sell it. It actually took me 7 years of search to find this beauty. It is an early track frame from 1972 without the horse engraving but with the typical strong rear triangle and the unique Lüders double plate fork crown. Master Lüders is known as a man with character. Lüders bike enthusiasts know a couple of anecdotes about him which support the picture of a man who knew exactly what he was doing. One of these anecdotes is that one day the great Eddy Merckx came through the door of the small shop in Charlottenburg and wanted to order a frame. Merckx was by no doubt the man to tell Lüders the geometry of the frame he wanted. But Lüders rejected the order of the world most famous champion. After a little kind of dispute Merckx left the shop a little bit irritated. But the story continues when two weeks later he came back ordering a frame designed by master Lüders. Lüders once said that he never sent someone away who wanted a frame built from him. But if someone wanted a frame in the geometry of one other master, he rejected it and suggested instead to go to the other master directly. It is a proof of his strong personality that master Lüders built frames of his design only – the model Lüders.

Lüders / Reynolds 531

Lüders / Reynolds 531

Crankset/Bottom Bracket:
Campagnolo Pista

Campagnolo Pista

Cinelli Pista

3ttt/Campagnolo SR

Front Wheel/Hub/Tire:
Campagnolo Pista

Rear Wheel/Hub/Tire:
Campagnolo Pista

Added by Thor. Last updated over 2 years ago.



Vintage-Trackie says:

Very well written!! Thank you for the education of Luders built frames. Fantastic!

Posted over 2 years ago


kobe says:


Posted over 2 years ago


GhostRidingTheWhip says:


Posted over 2 years ago