17 Jun 2024

Jürgen Falke, former MERIDA R&D Center CEO and Head of Product, has passed away

It is with deep sadness and a heavy heart that we have to announce the death of our esteemed colleague Jürgen Falke. The long-standing CEO and co-founder of MERIDA R&D Center GmbH, who recently stepped down from his position for health reasons, passed away much too early on the 13th of June 2024 at the age of 61 after a short, serious illness. Our thoughts and condolences are with Jürgen’s wife, children, family and friends.

Initially working for the CENTURION brand, Falke successfully transferred his passion for triathlon to the traditional Swabian brand under the leadership of company founder Wolfgang Renner. In 1997, Thomas Hellriegel won the Ironman in Hawaii with the Helldrive he developed. A passionate triathlete himself, Falke took part in this legendary competition twice. He was also instrumental in the success of the ground-breaking No Pogo MTB model, which was voted ‘Bike of the Year’ in 1997. Under Falke's aegis, the Shimano European Design Contest was also won twice. Together with CENTURION founder Wolfgang Renner, he negotiated the joint venture between MERIDA and CENTURION in 2000.

Another milestone in his career was the success story of the MULTIVAN MERIDA BIKING TEAM with cycling legends such as Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjå, José Hermida and Ralph Näf. Multiple World Championship titles, numerous World Cup victories, as well as a silver and a gold medal at the Olympic Games on the NINETY-SIX and BIG.NINE have cemented its reputation as the best and most successful mountain bike team in the world. For Falke as a developer, there was no greater honour than to see the bikes he designed, such as the SCULTURA, REACTO and WARP, win at the highest level. With stage wins at the Tour de France, the Giro d'Italia, victories at cycling monuments such as Paris-Roubaix and Milan-San Remo or the 2023 Gravel World Championships, Falke has continued this success story until recently.

When the MERIDA R&D Center GmbH was founded in 2014, Jürgen Falke was appointed Managing Director and played a key role in the development and design of the entire MERIDA product range, up to and including the most recent, highly successful racing bikes of the BAHRAIN VICTORIOUS WorldTour team.

With the passing of Jürgen Falke, MERIDA Taiwan and the MERIDA R&D Centre GmbH have lost a visionary at the height of his creative powers, who shaped and influenced the development of the brand for over 20 years.