OLNEY, Ill. (BRAIN) — KHS Bicycle Parts founder Karl Heinz Schaette died on Jan. 3 from oxygen deficiency at Brookstone Estates assisted living in Olney. He was 88.
“He was proud to ride his bike to work into his very late 70s and always arrived with the elapsed time in hand,” said Thorsten Schaette, KHS Bicycle Parts president and Karl’s son. “To say that he was competitive is an understatement. Always driven with his customers in mind.”
Before starting KHS Bicycle Parts — not to be confused with KHS Inc. — Karl worked for Union Froendenberg in Germany, which manufactured pedals, hubs and spokes. He started there in 1951 in the export department and began visiting customers in the U.S. and Canada in 1964.
“My grandfather (mother’s side) work there as their main bookkeeper, meaning I am third-generation in the bike biz,” Thorsten said. “Karl travelled the U.S. for Union in the ’60s, and several German bike companies asked him to drop some brochures while he visited. After a while doing this, he became an independent rep and sold Union and Weinmann as his main source.”
Karl began KHS Bicycle Parts — with the initials representing his name — in 1970 in New …read more