Every now and then, you hear stories about a person who, blessed with great passion and even greater expertise, starts building products in their garage and ends up changing the world. One such story is that of Heinz Obermayer and his work partner. It all started with horses and sports cars. “What have they got to do with anything?” you might well ask. Well, the two men had a penchant for composite materials, which led to them building carbon parts for cars and carbon wheels for sulkies at their tractor garage in Munich. One day someone came and asked, “Why don’t you try making something for racing bikes?” And the rest is history. After several years of hard work, their first disc wheel was produced in 1990, followed by their first spoked wheel six years later. 1996 was also the year in which Johan Museeuw purchased Lightweight wheels before winning the World Cycling Championship.
The wheels from the tractor garage carried Bjarne Riis to victory in the 1996 Tour de France and helped Jan Ullrich achieve the same feat the following year. It didn’t take long for many other top-class cyclists to recognise the incredible quality and performance of these wheels. Many of them would comment, “Once you set off, you can’t help looking round to check if someone is pushing you.” Propulsion and motion dynamics have always been hallmarks of our products. These qualities are the direct result of an exclusive combination of top-class material, years of experience and unsurpassed expertise.
Just as Heinz Obermayer was going to close down his tractor garage for good and enjoy a well-earned retirement, the inevitable happened one day at a bicycle trade exhibition. The recently founded company CarbonSports were presenting their new bike frame, fitted with the most exclusive and most technologically advanced wheels on the market. Many people were just there to see the frame, but could hardly believe their eyes when they first held the Lightweights in their hands. What followed was a foregone conclusion. In October 2003, Lightweight started to trade under the name CarbonSports, now working closely with its own Carbon specialists in Friedrichshafen to develop and produce its bicycle wheels.
Lightweight is proud of its company history and can look back on a decade of engineering excellence and leading expertise in the field of carbon products. Back in the early nineties Heinz Obermayer developed the first ever all-carbon wheel in his workshop. Ever since then, manual work processes have been a key feature of the product portfolio, defying the tendencies of our hi-tech and digital world. The sharp eye for detail, the quest for perfection and highly precise work processes enable Lightweight to build the most exclusive wheels on which the best cyclists in the world have ridden to glory.