SON = Schmidts Original NabendynamoSON = Schmidts Original Nabendynamo

Company History

Company History

Wilfried Schmidt Maschinenbau

25.6.1987 Wilfried Schmidt registered business in his parents garage in Thalfingen near Ulm.
1987 – 91 In addition to his mechanical engineering studies at the university of Stuttgart, he designed and constructed machines for the fabrication of reeds for clarinets.
1990 Along with mechanical engineering studies and fashioning reeds for clarinets he devised a geared hub dynamo. According to German conformity the prototype was showcased at the IFMA (International Bicycle and Motorcycle Exhibition) in Cologne.
1991 BKM 4 Diploma thesis on geared hub dynamos. Initially workshop premises were rented in Ulm. Further development of the reed machine. 'BKM 4' still is built up to this day and for the first time allows all operations to fashion clarinet reeds with a single machine: In the following years up to 50 machines were built annually and sold to professional clarinettist in Germany and Austria.
1992 A new and gear-less hub dynamo was designed. A workshop equipped with small and conventional metal working machines and a self made test stand were the main utilities. Application for a patent and the presentation at the IFMA succeeded in October. An in-house production of small quantities was intended. "The hub dynamo" met with great interest, notably because DT, the Swiss manufacturer of spokes, likewise introduced a revolutionary lighting system with (gear) hub dynamo.
1993 A license agreement with the bicycle parts producer UNION Fröndenberg. Single components were developed further and supplied for UNION.
1994 Launch of the UNION dynamo hub 'Wing', before the start of production of DT-dynamos. Due to several growing pains many dynamos were returned to both manufacturers. In fall, UNION went bankrupt and was then taken over by the Danish enterprise Incentive. Schmidt enhanced the hub dynamo further striving towards in-house production.
1995 SON 95 Presentation of "Schmidts Original Nabendynamo" at the Intercycle fair in Cologne and start of production in Ulm.
As an accessory Schmidt equipped the headlight 'Lumotec' from Busch & Müller with a switch and a coaxial cable. At the same time Incentive/ Marwi was granted the licence to take up the production of WING.
End of the year, Schmidt moved into an old building in the French Quarter of Tübingen (the former Hindenburg barracks). A new building for the workshop was about to be constructed there by an association of private owners "Project 14".
1996 Andreas Oehler with test stand During the complete first year of production about 1.000 pieces of 'Schmidts Original Nabendynamo', abbr. 'SON', were built. 'SON 28' received the German mark of conformity (K-Number) for wheel size 26" to 28". Specialized bike shops were the principal customers in Germany.
1997 First full time employee for the production of dynamos: Dipl. Ing. Andreas Oehler, sustaining member of ADFC (Allgemeiner Deutscher Fahrrad Club). At last there was capacity to build a more efficient dynamo test stand.
1998 The workshop property within Project 14 was completed and ready to move inside; yet almost too small again. Marwi had ceased the licensed manufacturing, in this way the production of SON increased to 3.000 units p.a. Already there existed various models, such as 'SON 20' for small wheels up to 20".
More and more SONs were returned as moisture had entered the casing, which in fact is very well sealed. Such repairs involve lots of time and effort; for this reason a new type of housing was designed: smaller and with a screw-on lid.
1999 The 20-" hub dynamo was adapted to new casing. DT's competitive production (in the meantime transferred to the German company Bisy) had ceased. Schmidt bought Bisy's remaining stock of the integrated and excellent mirrors for head lamps as he intended to built his own high quality head lamp with a switch.
2000 SON 28 klassik Schmidt also adapted 26"-28"-SON. Now all types have screwed-on lids and are far easier to repair. In this way the problem concerning the water intrusion was eased but not yet solved.
Shimano provides the inexpensive down-market HB-NX 30 hub dynamo: yet another competition certainly stimulating the market. As a result Busch & Müller built their on head lamps with a toggle switch such as 'Lumotec oval senso' plus an automatically activated light via sensor. A convenient amendment, also for the SON.
2001 In the meantime, SON is known as equivalent to a durable, reliable product. SONs for disc brakes were much asked for. The small number of staff was at pains to keep up with the continuously increasing demand. The design of an in-house head light hardly made any progress.
2002 AWS-Schlauch Additional rooms were rented at the top of the street to give more space for the mounting of dynamos and headlights. At last large-scale production of 'E6', the "elegant" headlight equipped with DT/Bisy's mirror, began - a rather large and dear head lamp.
A major improvement throughout the SON-chronicle: The pressure compensation system supposed to prevent water from intruding due to difference in temperature has stood the test and is fitted into all SONs ever since.
2003 E6 Despite the high price and contrary to expectations E6 turned out to be sales-boosting in the line of head lamps (alongside with continuously converted Lumotec and Lumotec oval).
Beginning of the new construction of more factory space exactly opposite to the old workshop (private joint building venture "FahrRad" with 250 m² ground floor and 120 m² basement.
2004 SON XS Schmidt launches 'SON XS', the world's very first hub dynamo fitting into the narrow forks for folding bikes. Due to little weight just under 400 gram, XS soon was sold by the bulk to the folder manufacturer Brompton.
2005 SON XS-M The production of dynamos moved to the new shop. There was even enough space for the first internal CNC-machine. The light-weight dynamo SON XS is also supplied for skewers with standard length namely for 'XS-100' (target group: racing cyclists).
2006 'SON-XS-M' is the first real exotic: a hub dynamo with stub axle mount and disc brakes for the new trike 'Scorpion' by HP Velotechnik.
2007 SON 20 R The first ball-shaped hub dynamo reduced in diameter: 'SON 20 R'.

Busch & Müller introduced a revised LED head light, 'Lumotec fly IQ', which clearly exceeds all previous dynamo head lights, even E6 concerning luminance and distribution of light. Hence Schmidt's volume of E6 sales diminished dramatically.
2008 Edelux

Schmidt devised the LED head light 'Edelux'. Type of housing and switch correspond that of E6, mirror and electronics originate from fly IQ by Busch & Müller. Enhanced cooling of the LED as well as the glass plate almost doubled light emitting efficiency! These convincing amendments caused the Edelux waitlist to quickly boost to more than 2000 units at the beginning of production.
At the former bicycle fair IFMA in Cologne the VSF (Verbund Service und Fahrrad) awarded the companies Schmidt Maschinenbau, Shimano and Busch & Müller the "Goldene Ritzel" (golden sprocket) for solving bicycle lighting problems.
2009 With combined efforts nearly 30 members of staff stepped up the production of Edelux to reduce the waiting period. Only at the end of the year Schmidt was able to deliver from stock. SON 20 R gained meaning with Edelux: even at a low pace 20 R and Edelux generate more light than any more powerful standard dynamo together with the best halogen head lamp.
2010 SL This also convinced German regulatory bodies: SON 20 R (now called 'SONdelux') together with Edelux became a licensed system, even for bigger wheel diameters. The small and light SONdelux evolved together with Edelux to the standard "SON-lighting system".
At last, the concept of a hub dynamo without connectors ('SONdelux SL'), which was designed in the distant past of SON and presented at Eurobike in 2009, finds approval: Velotraum was the first to provide a production run of bicycles with SON-SL.
2011 SON 28 Light itself no longer is sufficient. More bikers intend to use their hub dynamo to recharge indispensable mobile devices. Special charging adapters for GPS and smart phones of different makes are on sale. At a slow pace the more powerful SON 28 is recommended for the charging, and because of this SON 28 was adapted to the smaller and lighter build. At Eurobike in 2011 various types of the new SON 28 were presented, markedly lighter and running smoother compared to the 12 year old model (renamed 'SON 28 klassik'). Thus, almost the whole range of models was revised.
2012 This summer the company celebrated 25 years of Wilfried Schmidt Maschinenbau.