The story so far - The story of Lightweight.
We are more than a company in Friedrichshafen. We are a company founded on an idea and the decision to revolutionize the racing bike world. The history of wheels originated in a small workshop on a farm near Munich and since then the success story of Lightweight is unstoppable.
Rudolf Dierl and Heinz Obermayer get to know and appreciate each other and thus lay the foundation for today's brand Lightweight.
In 1984 Dierl and Obermayer founded KDO GmbH together with Hans Kufer. This company built complex aerodynamic components for sports cars, such as bumpers and spoilers made of glass fibre reinforced plastic in small series. Later, covers were also produced for the rear wheels of bicycles to protect children's feet. Some triathletes made use of the cover as an aerodynamic helper.
1988 KDO GmbH is dissolved. Heinz Obermayer and Rudolf Dierl subsequently develop and produce sulky wheels with aluminium rims for trotting racing. Despite the superiority, the rim was not accepted by the traditional trotting sport. Spurred on by this failure, the two henceforth occupied themselves with the construction of time trial and triathlon wheels.
In 1990 Heinz Obermayer and Rudolf Dierl finally launched their first wheel - the ULTEC disc (later DO2000), which was made of a mixture of carbon fibres, insulating foam and aramid.
In the years 1991/1992 the cooperation with the company Heidenreich started. This company supports Obermayer and Dierl in the area of distribution and so the racing bike disc was renamed Hylight.
Heinz Obermayer and Rudolf Dierl develop a spoked wheel made of carbon, which immediately received UCI certification at its launch in 1994.
The first wheels with aero rim profile developed by Rudolf Dierl and Heinz Obermayer are launched on the market. It is the birth of today's Lightweight wheels.
1996 is the year of success: various professional cyclists win their stages thanks to the ultra-light Hylight wheels. The Dane Rolf Sørensen wins the silver medal at the Olympic Summer Games in Atlanta, the Belgian Johan Museeuw wins a road race at the World Championship, the Swiss Tony Rominger the bronze medal and later the mountain classification at the Tour of Spain. When Bjarne Riis won the Tour de France on Hylight bikes in the same year, the bikes became a must-have in the bike industry virtually overnight.
In 1997 Hylight became the brand Lightweight, as the cooperation with the company Heidenreich was terminated. Actually the name "Lightweight" was planned, but due to the international demand the English name "Lightweight" was chosen.
Jan Ulrich wins the Tour de France in 1997 and a stage of the Tour. During the Tour, Jan Ullrich sometimes rode on Lightweight wheels, which he had to cover with the logo of his own sponsor.
In 2000 Obermayer and Dierl moved production to a farm near Munich in order to further improve production.
Lance Armstrong wins the Tour de Swiss as well as the Tour de France and focuses on lightweight.
In 2002 Obermayer and Dierl were looking for a producer for the Lightweight wheels due to the high demand and found Erhard Wissler. In him they found a producer who believes in the brand and its success.
Lightweight moves to CarbonSports in Friedrichshafen on Lake Constance. With Heinz Obermayer, as well as the know-how of the CarboFibretec engineers, Lightweight developed into a global player for high-end carbon fiber wheels. CarbonSports GmbH and CarboFibretec GmbH are subsidiaries of the Wissler Group, which was founded by Erhard Wissler and has been managed by him ever since. After the successful merger, Dierl left the company in the same year.
In 2004, Heinz Obermayer retires further and acts primarily as a consultant. Nevertheless, he continued to work on the perfect wheel: the result was the first signature wheel with the simple title OBERMAYER. A new layer construction and the light tune hub let the weight shrink to less than 1000g. In the same year the STANDARD wheels are launched on the market.
Already in 2006 the second generation of the now highly sought-after OBERMAYER and STANDARD wheels is presented. In the same year the Ventoux, the new wheel in the low-profile wheel construction sector, is also introduced.
As part of the sponsoring for TEAM MILRAM, the first "Special ED" with white spokes will be built up in 2007, which will then also go into series production. In addition, the RESERVETANK drinking bottle expands the product range to other areas of cycling.
The product range is constantly being expanded and in 2008 the STANDARD C, a full carbon clincher, the third generation OBERMAYER and the third generation STANDARD were added. In the same year the company also moves into the new high-tech factory building in Friedrichshafen. Here in particular the development and logistics of the company will find considerably better conditions.
In 2010 the aero wheel Lightweight disc will be supplemented by the front wheel VR8. This wheel has only eight spokes and features a completely new design. With an incredible weight of 780 grams for the rear wheel disc and 650 grams for the front wheel, the wheels are primarily aimed at triathletes and time trialists who want to save even the last fractions of a second.
In 2012 Lightweight will launch numerous new products with uniform product names: GIPFELSTURM, MEILENSTEIN, RUNDKURS, FERNWEG, AUTOBAHN and MEILENSTEIN OBERMAYER
With URGESTALT Lightweight brings its first self-developed frame to the market. In addition, the RENNBÜGEL brings further accessories onto the market that complete the vision of the perfect road bike.
Lightweight releases its first own clothing line under the name EDELSTOFF. The focus here is primarily on functionality and comfort of the garments. Great importance is attached to sustainability in production, which is why the entire clothing line is produced in a family business in Portugal.
In 2015 the accessories will be extended by the shapely and especially light cup holder EDELHELFER.
Both the Italian and Australian national teams will be riding lightweight wheels at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
At Eurobike 2016, Lightweight will present a new concept approach. The aim is to automate the manufacturing process of carbon wheels to the highest possible degree. As a result and therefore an absolute world novelty Lightweight presents the wheel series WEGWEISER. Its production process is automated up to 30% without sacrificing the proven Lightweight quality.
The new MEILENSTEIN C Disc with newly developed Pentagon hub with patented technology breaks records and proves to be almost "indestructible" in the Magura endurance test.
With the URGESTALT DISC, Lightweight offers a frame for disc-braked rims. This ensures compatibility with new systems and technologies and responds to market demand.
During the Tour de France 2019 a large racing team relies on the MEILENSTEIN C 24E and is extremely successful.
The EVO generation will be launched in 2019 and includes the carbon wheels: MILENSTEIN EVO, FERNWEG EVO 63, FERNWEG EVO 85 and WEGWEISER EVO. All wheels of the EVO generation have a new type of layer structure, are based on special CFRP fibres and are equipped with tubeless technology.
At the end of 2019, the Lightweight brand will be integrated into the newly founded carbovation GmbH based in Friedrichshafen. Behind the LIGHTWEIGHT brand so far were the companies CarboFibretec and Wissler Technologie as producers and CarbonSports as sales company and brand owner. With the Murtfeldt Group as a strategic partner, these companies will be bundled together and transferred to the newly founded carbovation GmbH.
In 2020, the management will be expanded to include Carsten Krumm. The new management board now consists of Carsten Krumm (chairman), Andreas Wissler and Andreas Balla. Today, more than 50 employees of carbovation GmbH work on the development, production, marketing and sales of Lightweight wheels, as well as many other high-quality products related to road bikes.