On the up and up
The history of SKS pumps
It is a saviour in your hour of need when you get the infamous “flat tyre”: the good old bicycle pump. For 90 years, SKS GERMANY has been producing the pressure boosters in Germany and continually adapting them to new requirements. Do you want to travel back in time? Then follow us back to the year 1932 when it all began.
Wilhelm Blome, successor to the SKS company founder Karl Scheffer-Klute, is an entrepreneur with vision. After taking over an insolvent air pump factory, he pays a visit to all the bicycle companies with his sample case loaded with pumps. Today, we would call this a door-to-door salesman. In the past, he presented himself as the “company owner”, according to the name on Blome’s business card, and presented his products in person.
Pump no. 107
During the 1930s in Germany, the bicycle is the means of transport par excellence – and every bicycle has an air pump. The SKS pump no.107 proves to be a complete success and goes into series production. Women usually assemble the wooden handle, piston and steel tube at simple tables.
End of the 1940s
Air for footballs and motorcycles
The country is battered by the second World War and unemployment is high. Fortunately, the production of SKS bicycle pumps can be resumed at the end of the 1940s. Football pumps are also produced. Thanks to a valve connection patent, pumps for motorcycles are also included in the range at a later date.
Plastic instead of metal
It is the years of the German economic miracle, rock ‘n’ roll and petticoats. Now things are starting to improve again – also at SKS GERMANY. The company decides to produce plastic air pumps instead of metal ones. In 1956, the first plastic pump is produced at SKS – in white, with a classic wooden handle.
Father of all floor pumps
The Beatles are writing music history and a wall separates East and West Berlin. This period of time marks the birth of the SKS Rennkompressor pump, a high-performance pump for racing bike competitions. The pump is still produced in practically the same design today and is considered to be the “father of all floor pumps” in the world of cycling.
Boom in racing bikes
Flower power, flares and hippies: The 1970s are not only flamboyant but cycling is also booming. The racing cyclist Didi Thurau causes real euphoria and racing bikes are in demand like never before. This is when the idea for a racing bike pump for mounting on the frame came about.
Dallas is on TV and anyone following fashion is wearing ankle warmers and shoulder pads. The colours on the air pump are reminiscent of the Olympic rings and reflect the spirit of this decade. Many bicycles already come with SKS frame pumps when they are first purchased.
Minimalist design for mountain bikes
The early 1990s mark the triumph of the Internet – and that of the mountain bike. Bikes with wide studded tyres revolutionise the bicycle industry. As a large frame pump interferes during off-road use, SKS develops a robust and compact mini pumps with a multi-valve head that can be stowed in a backpack or jersey.
Little helpers for bicycle breakdowns
There’s more to the summer than just the World Cup spectacle: There are also top sporting performances in cycle racing. SKS presents small and lightweight cartridge pumps for competitions. Instead of air, CO2 is pumped from a gas cartridge into the tyres in an instant, adding lots of pressure.
People used kettlebells in the 2010s to get “pumped”. 😉 For pumping of the other kind, namely to inflate bicycle tyres, SKS develops air pumps with a telescopic function and folding T-handle. The focus is on user-friendly and “air-gonomic” handling.
A new look
A virus causes a global pandemic – and causes a bicycle boom. E-bikes in particular are in great demand during the COVID-19 crisis. At SKS, the classic foot pump gets a new look. Tyres can be pumped up quickly and comfortably. Perfect also for people plagued by back pain.
Sustainable for the future
What will the future bring? Who knows. The five new SKS floor pumps will definitely withstand the wear and tear of everyday use. During the development phase, care was taken to ensure that mechanisms can be repaired and all components can be replaced. This means that the pumps can continue to be used with pleasure for at least the next 90 years.