Nijland Cycling

Nijland Cycling

"Excellent cooperation between our R&D department and Vlukon's R&D department, with significant involvement from Vlukon. The process actually went very smoothly"


The Nijland Cycling project is a fantastic showcase of how the customer fully utilised Vlukon's extensive production techniques and capabilities: Advanced 3D laser cutting, High-quality powder coating, Precision CNC milling and turning, Innovative tyre development, Advanced hydraulic pressing, Development and assembly of torsion axles. Each of these elements reflects the synergy of advanced technology and skilled craftsmanship, resulting in a product that radiates both quality and innovation.


The Case:

1. Can you describe your company and your role within the company?

Nijland Cycling is a family business specialising in the development and production of cargo bikes, rehabilitation bicycles, and unique city bikes for all ages. Our total product range consists of various product groups and numerous models in the areas of tandems, tricycles, bicycles for the elderly, cargo bikes, and children's cargo bikes. With sixty-five employees, mainly in production, assembly, and product innovation, Nijland Cycling is a significant bicycle manufacturer. With our in-house knowledge and expertise, we are capable of delivering high-quality custom bikes for everyone. To remain progressive, we set innovation as one of our key pillars. Our strength lies in developing and elaborating new ideas in our field. This includes improving stability, steering characteristics, comfort, convenience, and safety. Nijland Cycling has also recently launched the Cargo Cycling brand. This brand was created to target exactly that market. Cargo Cycling offers business customers with logistical needs the solution for reliable delivery. Together, we develop the mobile bike solution to make urban logistics cleaner, more efficient, and more flexible. In my role as a purchasing manager, it is my responsibility to optimise the purchasing process so that products are delivered by the right suppliers in a timely manner and under the most optimal conditions.

b. In which sector does your company operate, and what is the importance of rims and wheels for your business activities? As described above, we are in the bicycle industry and primarily make bikes that are subject to above-average loads. Especially when it comes to cargo bikes and Cargo bicycles, specific demands are made on the bikes, and the total cost of ownership is very important for the business market. The requirements we set for rims/wheels are therefore much higher, and that means we also develop specials for our heavy-duty cargo bike rims as rim suppliers do not have such rims in their collection.

2. Background of the Problem

a. What was the specific challenge or need for which you required a custom rim? The Chariot, our heaviest Cargo bike, has a maximum load capacity of 550 kg (rider, bike and load), which means we need a very strong rim. Since this is a tricycle with 2 wheels under the box at the back, we see in practice that the couriers often clip a curb in the corners. With the current rims, we see cases of damage which we want to prevent with the new rims.

b. How did this affect your production, vehicles, or end customers? The market for cargo bikes is still developing, so we are still in a learning phase. We thought we already had a very strong rim but see in use that it is still not stiff enough. Not only the rim is to blame. We have scrutinised the complete construction of tyre/rim/suspension/springing.

c. What solutions or products had you previously considered or used before you turned to Vlukon BV? In the current bike, there is a steel rim produced by a supplier of carriage rims. In addition to the thought of doing something with the rim, we have also thought about optimisation with wider tyres/torsion springs and a single-sided wheel suspension to reduce and facilitate the necessary service activities. We have also looked at plastic wheels as a possible solution.

3. Decision-Making Process

a. How did you come into contact with Vlukon BV? In the distant past, there had already been contact with Vlukon, so it was not entirely a new contact for us. And in the search for torsion springs, we also ended up with Vlukon.

b. What made Vlukon BV's approach or product range attractive to you? The knowledge and experience in rim development for the agricultural sector and the possibility of applying that technology to our bikes. The fact that Vlukon can not only make/deliver the rim but also produce the torsion spring makes it attractive. Vlukon has its own R&D department, which allowed us to quickly switch to a final design. Additionally, the fact that production takes place in our own country and they can deliver complete semi-finished products (complete wheel + tyre) makes our production more efficient.

c. Were there specific features of Vlukon's rims that particularly appealed to you? The production process of the rims, which makes a single-sided wheel suspension possible. And the fact that a "bicycle rim" comes out of laser cutting instead of a "car rim".

4. Development and Implementation Process

a. How did the process of developing the special rim with Vlukon BV go? Excellent cooperation between our R&D department and the R&D department of Vlukon, with significant involvement from Vlukon. The process actually went very smoothly.

b. What obstacles did you encounter during development, and how were they jointly addressed? We did not encounter any major obstacles. Experiments were conducted with the size of the "spoke holes" to come to a sufficiently stiff wheel. Vlukon provided various samples for this.

c. How was your interaction with the Vlukon team throughout the process? Excellent. Regular consultations were held to achieve an optimal result.

5. Results and Benefits

a. What are the direct benefits you have experienced since using Vlukon's specially developed rims? The real experiences are yet to come when the bikes are also used by the customers. From the tests so far, it appears that we have stronger wheels than before.

b. Are there measurable performance improvements or other positive results that you can share? It seems we have a rim that is strong enough for our application, which should ultimately pay off in higher customer satisfaction and lower service costs during the use of the bike.

c. How have Vlukon's rims contributed to achieving your business goals or customer satisfaction? One of the business objectives is to produce high-quality cargo bikes. These rims will certainly contribute to this and will lead to higher customer satisfaction.

6. Do you see opportunities for further collaboration or other product developments with Vlukon BV? Absolutely! The market for cargo bikes is still developing. We have several cargo bikes in the collection and big ambitions for the future, so I do not rule out that we will also develop products with Vlukon in the future. First, set up the production of these products and ensure a smooth supply chain. In parallel with the new rims, we have also developed torsion springs with Vlukon, which are also mounted on the Chariot. This has also achieved rear suspension/damping, reducing the impact of the road on the bike and rider.

7. Would you recommend Vlukon BV to other companies in your network? Why or why not? Absolutely! Vlukon is a company comparable in size to Nijland. They do both their own developments and production in-house, which makes them flexible and skilled. They have a pleasant way of communicating and deliver good quality.


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