We recently visited Rafael Hoffleit in Germany to look closer at his bikes and understand a bit more about this designer. His carbon creations are actually handmade in Germany, but Hoffleit is not completely focused on bikes. Architecture, engineering and design are strong passions and the firm he works for is quite busy building parts for Formula 1, German Touring Cars (DTM) and Le Mans type race cars. So bikes are not always the main priority and no bike was being crafted while slowtwitch was there.
But for a motorsports fan there was plenty to see and we finally had the opportunity to touch and look closer at some of the Rafael bikes.
Rafael Hoffleit with one of his creations in the background.
This very unique fixie is his personal favorite.
A closer look at the front end.
This bike labeled Heidelberg is based on the r-008 model which Rafael designed in early 2007.
Frames and other elements created here start in some form on this cutting table.
Rafael with the mold for the seatstays.
The r-011 looks very mean and felt very solid on the short test ride we did.
The nose cone area serves as a reservoir for liquids.
This reservoir can also easily be removed.
Rafael Hoffleit will soon be working again on bikes.
All images are © Herbert Krabel / slowtwitch.com