How a man from Koblenz succeeded in building one of the best bicycle brands in the world
Canyon founder Roman Arnold has never lived or worked anywhere other than in Koblenz. And why should he? The idea for the best bicycle in the world literally came to life at his doorstep.
Born on July 7, 1963 in Koblenz. Trained wholesale and export merchant and bicycle mechanic. CEO / Managing Director Canyon Bikes.
Stories of successful companies beginning in someone’s garage are practically a cliche. But what can you do: that’s what actually happened with Roman Arnold, founder of the bicycle brand Canyon.
Before setting new standards in bicycle manufacturing, the cycling enthusiast sold Italian bike parts, first out of a trailer, then out of a garage – and eventually became a wholesaler. Doing everything from home, in Rhineland-Palatinate.
“I never thought about living anywhere but here. My roots are here, and from here I can go out into the whole world.”
Then came the idea to build bikes himself. His aspiration? To build the world’s best bicycle – and the first successful coup came right at the beginning. Back in the 1990s, Canyon developed the lightest racing bike in the world, weighing in at just 3.8 kg (8.4 lbs). Arnold’s recipe for success?
The founder - Roman Arnold - Successful in Rhineland-Palatinate
“We were always curious about what comes next.”
In summer 2022, it was announced that basketball star LeBron James had invested 30 million euros in the Koblenz-based company. Today, there is hardly a triathlete, Iron Man or Iron Woman, or downhill cyclist who isn’t riding a bike from Rhineland-Palatinate. In cities, the brand is also becoming ever more visible among commuters.
Canyon delivers to more than 100 countries and employs over 1,400 people worldwide. But even as new bikes are constantly being added, every single bike is still assembled, inspected, and tested in the Koblenz factory.
Although Roman Arnold stepped down as head of the company in 2020, he can still be found regularly at the company in his role as a member of the advisory board. His roots are here, after all. And those roots made it possible for his success to grow far beyond the Koblenz city limits.
About the person
Born 1963 in Koblenz
Education: trained as wholesaler and export merchant, bicycle mechanic
Founded the Radsport Arnold GmbH with his brother Franc in 1985
Since 2002, the Radsport Arnold GmbH has operated under the name Canyon Bicycles GmbH
Canyon Bicycles generated revenue of 415 million euros in fiscal year 2019/2020
In 2020, it was announced that Arnold was stepping down as CEO and would join the company’s newly established advisory board
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